THE BLOG
06/06/2016 10:35 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Acceptance

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"To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow ―
this is a human offering that can border on miraculous."

― Elizabeth Gilbert

The experience of acceptance is complex and subtle. It's also important. The thoughts that follow describe the many sides of acceptance. See if you have more to add.

Acceptance is soft
Acceptance is powerful
Acceptance is such a relief
Acceptance acknowledges that we can't change others
Acceptance is loving, in spite of
Acceptance puts expectations aside
Acceptance is getting outside myself
Acceptance is getting over myself
Acceptance fuels peace
Acceptance is moving on
Acceptance knows I can't change the past
Acceptance lets me stop trying to fix everything
Acceptance sometimes requires forgiveness
Acceptance says, "So what?"

Acceptance is the opposite of denial
Acceptance is the opposite of judgement
Acceptance is the opposite of justification
Acceptance is the opposite of defensiveness
Acceptance is the opposite of fighting
Acceptance is the opposite of prejudice

There is a fine line between acceptance and resignation
Between acceptance and copping out
Between acceptance and making do
Between acceptance and keeping the peace
Between acceptance and being lazy

The fine line is energetic -- something about the condition of my heart

Acceptance makes me strong.
I still can't change others, but I give them a different person to respond to.
And I can inspire, model, educate, collaborate, listen to and love them.

Here are some examples of the power of acceptance:

  • Peg could no longer tolerate her grown son's negativity. Firmly and with love, she told him she could not stand his negativity, AND she shared with him the way keeping a gratitude journal had changed her life. She gave him a journal. Within a few months, he was much more positive.
  • When I accepted that my husband, Gene, was never going to be the effusive man of my dreams, I was able to hear his gentle, heartfelt expressions of love.
  • Since my friend Toni accepts that climate change is real, she has become a serious researcher about the ways we contribute to the problem. She writes essays and shares them lovingly with friends and family, in an effort to impact the problems.

Acceptance is seeing more clearly.
Acceptance is acknowledging reality over hopes or expectations
Acceptance of what is true is required to change
Acceptance is a beginning, not an end

As Elizabeth Gilbert intimates above, being on the receiving end of acceptance, being fully accepted, is the gift of a lifetime!

COACHING QUESTIONS
  1. What did reading these thoughts on acceptance stir in you?
  2. What is the message you received?
  3. Who accepts you fully?
  4. Who needs you to accept them?
  5. What "aha" would you add to this compilation on acceptance?