to receive willingly <accept a gift>
to give admittance or approval to <accept as one of a group>
to endure without protest or reaction <accept poor living conditions>
to recognize as true: believe <refused to accept the explanation>
to make a favorable response to <accept an offer>
to agree to undertake (a responsibility) <accept a job>
Receive, approve, endure, regard, believe, agree. I’m not sure I apply any of these verbs to myself on a regular basis. Like so many other people, I’m hard on myself. I don’t give myself a lot of slack. I don’t let things just be what they are.
Why do you brush your teeth before you eat breakfast? Who are you trying to impress with all that makeup? Get off your ass and stop writing this. And you wonder why you’re alone. We all have this voice–the critic, the judge, the monster inside–the ego. This voice is loud and direct, so many people think it’s true, but it’s usually not. It shows up as sarcasm, a stinging remark, a defensive stance, a roll of the eyes, the snicker, the gossip.
If you lead your life guided only by the voice, you’ll start to feel depressed, let down, uneasy and, worst of all, hopeless and bleak, because you’re viewing yourself and the world around you through one finite lens. The lens of never enough, so why bother. Even if there is some truth to what you’re thinking or feeling, it’s only one half of the story. There’s another side to every person, including you.
A willingness to accept yourself and the situation as it is will open up the way to changing your heart. This is different than resignation for the way things are. “Fine, if that’s the way it has to be.” Resignation carries resistance in it’s pocket, the standby of the passive-aggressive. You can smell the spark of an argument. “This sucks, but there’s nothing I can do. So I won’t,” is hidden in the tone.
Acceptance is a catalyst for freedom. Freedom from your own bullshit. It opens the door to a new way of seeing yourself. And once you see yourself differently, you’ll see everyone around you for who they are, a human being with their own internal struggles, their hopes and dreams, and the same deep desire to be loved, to be seen, to be heard.