Easier Said than Done
While not an essential trait of life, it is an attitude which appears to contradict the emotions and attitudes which are born and maintained in memory. Without memory, acceptance would be facile, natural. Unlike hatred, anger, animosity and other states of being, which seem to come ‘naturally’ to us, acceptance is an attitude which comes into being or imposes itself in rare situations: bad examples include the phases of dying, or, having to pass wind while surrounded by significant others.
In this discussion, acceptance is NOT the subjugation of oneself to the will of another.
The acceptance of which we wish to explore is that part of the emotion of love which when in force leaves the door of the cage open for the prettiest bird in the world to escape. Its existence can sometimes be found in an ‘unconditional’ love.
But some, who refer to it as unconditional love, rely upon it as the basis for the imposition of standards of conduct on others. Focused on the attitude of others, it is not the acceptance of this exploration.
A flat tire on the auto. One has to, externally, accept it, often with frustration, sometimes anger. The acceptance permits a movement in some direction to correct the failure. On another level, acceptance would not exhibit frustration or any other emotion without being an attitude of ‘laissez-faire’. Both levels of acceptance may, indeed, result in the same remedial action, but the deeper more personal acceptance transcends the failure as a deer does as it leaps over a fallen tree in its escape from its predator.
Acceptance is not the desired end, but the desired beginning. Accepting is not resignation, the feeling that nothing is worth doing. As you trip on a frozen horse terd in the snow, the reaction you have determines where you are. Accepting its existence in your path provides you with a variety of reactions from ‘oh, I didn’t see it’ to an angry swipe with your foot. Accepting it simply reduces the importance of determining why or how it came to be in your path. Accepting it becomes the starting point of developing, if you will, a relationship with it.
Acceptance, agreement, acknowledgement – are all descriptive of the attitude required for internal peace and tranquility. The achievement of these attitudes provides the basis for a fulfilling and rewarding life. Acceptance is recognized as a potential goal in many discussions, either directly of indirectly. The Serenity Prayer relied upon by alcoholics being one of them:
The Serenity Prayer
|God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
The path to acceptance begins of all places with oneself. Before one can exercise much acceptance of external phenomena, one must place oneself on the path of accepting oneself. While it is a path of infinite distance, the most importance aspect is to place oneself on the path.