I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about the word “acceptance.”
In the past, I always negatively associated the term with being average or staying still. In my professional and student life, I continuously learn about how to live more “green,” shout louder about issues I believe in, eat healthier—gluten-free, low-carb, high-protein, and so on.
While striving for excellence and working hard for what I believe in is important and really quite essential if I want to get things done, I think there comes a point where you just have to pause. Find time to take a moment and figure out what is the most important.
When I did this with myself, I had to ask, “What do I have enough control over to actually change?” What was it that I really cared about and wanted to see through to the end? While there were a million things I felt that I should strive to make better, I had to figure out what it was that I truly wanted and felt I could put my energy towards.
In my mind today, acceptance means lessening the harsh judgments I place upon myself and learning to be patient. I must allow time to ask questions, make mistakes, learn new ways of doing things and grow spiritually. Sometimes, I may arrive at the next phase in life quickly, while other times it takes me awhile. I have learned to allow myself to take time in that “thinking” mode and not actually rush to a conclusion. I’ve found that it is okay to just be aware of what is going on and neither love it or hate it, accept or deny it.
I think it is fine to just be.
I believe the creators of Wildmind.org put it well when they wrote, “All too often we find it difficult to accept what we’re feeling. A common pattern is to experience some initial unpleasant experience, and then to feel bad because of feeling bad, and then to feel bad about feeling bad about feeling bad, and so on. It’s a vicious cycle of feeling bad about feeling bad.”
By allowing ourselves to feel emotions, whether good or bad, we are accepting ourselves and nurturing that time in life before growth can occur.
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