What Is Acceptance?

“Acceptance is not agreeing with something, rather acknowledging that things simply are the way they are.”

Or so my therapist says.

The funny thing is, when you accept that things are the way they are, a lot of times it can feel like you are losing or devaluing your original argument. This is not true! When you truly accept that things “are the way they are”, you actually loosen the fetters that bind you. By accepting that you have no control over the matter, you acknowledge that you are not held responsible for whether this thing succeeds or fails. It is a liberating experience.

Acceptance is something that I struggle with a lot. I’m sure that a lot of you can agree with me when I say that acceptance is difficult.

Part of my Anxiety is caused because I feel overly responsible for others or things that are not within my control. Because I feel responsible for them, or want things to be different, I feel distraught when things go badly. But ultimately, it is a vicious cycle that helps no one, because these things are out of my control, and therefore not my problem.

I have to remind myself of that constantly, because it’s so easy to fall back into the habit of believing that all of these different issues are my problem!

It may sound crazy to those of you who do not feel this way. When you think about it, it makes no sense to worry over something that is not within your control or your responsibility. It’s more work for yourself, and nothing good comes out of it.

When I feel distraught over events, usually framing it with the question, “Is this really my problem?” helps me to change perspective. Sometimes I can’t bring myself to say it, but whenever I hear it from someone else, it’s like a bucket of cold water to the face. The “bucket” helps me wake up and remember, it really isn’t.

For those of you out there who have similar issues, what is your “bucket of cold water”? Whatever your problem is, what do you do to make yourself come back to earth again?

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