Learning Acceptance

How to Practice Acceptance

Whenever a situation gets tough, there is a natural tendency to want to avoid it. You hope the problem resolves itself without having to do anything. Or, you spend too much time trying to get a certain outcome. It makes me thinking of that saying "What you resist persists."

That's because when you avoid something it doesn't go away. The problem festers and creates more problems later. When you resist something, it becomes a nagging thought. You start worrying about the "what ifs" rather than living in today. This robs you of your serenity.

Learning to let go and practice acceptance

Learning to let go and practice acceptance

Letting go triggers fear.

Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real which means what you fear rarely happens! 

When something happens that makes you worry, don't assume the outcome. Remind yourself that nothing has actually happened yet. 

Be present in the moment. Bring your thoughts back to what's really happening not what you are worrying about. It’s a quick way to give you a reality check - which can lessen anxious thoughts.

What is acceptance? 

Acceptance is being in the moment without necessarily agreeing with it. You can face reality rather than trying to control it. 

This takes continued effort and patience. Practicing acceptance can improve any situation because it helps you control your attitude.

Practicing Acceptance  

Part of acceptance is knowing when to detach from someone else's behavior. Detachment is letting someone experience their consequences without trying to rescue them. This helps with addiction and difficult behaviors that you want to control or change.

Let the other person do their life even if you think they're wrong. This doesn’t mean that you accept unacceptable behavior. You have to decide where the line is between what you can accept and what you simply don’t like.

When someone else's behavior is bugging you, it's time to check yourself. Do you need help detaching? If so, click here to read more on Detachment

Letting Go of the Outcome

Trying to control things doesn’t work but usually, it takes hitting an emotional bottom to be willing to let go. Trying to change what you cannot control is maddening. You realize that attempting to control people, places and things only increases the frustration. After enough painful experiences, practicing acceptance provides relief as you let go of the outcome.

There is a wonderful prayer in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous that captures the true meaning so beautifully.

"And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation -- some fact of my life -- unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.

Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God's world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life's terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes."

Repeating this prayer serves as a reminder that you only have the power to control yourself. Once you begin to accept life on life's terms, relationships improve because you stop trying to manage situations that you have no control over anyway. Click here to read How 12 Step Slogans Work.

Expecting people to change is a set up for disappointment. Acceptance isn't easy but facing what's happening in the moment gets you out of the struggle. You get your energy back because holding on is exhausting! 

How do you practice acceptance in your life? Please comment, I'd love to hear from you!

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