Acceptance Brings Happiness
Of course there is no formula for success except, perhaps, an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings. –Arthur Rubinstein
I think the most difficult life lesson to learn is acceptance of what is. I’m one who likes to change or improve circumstances and tend to easily find lots of things that need changing. My choleric nature on the personality profiles means I like to get things done. Many innovations have been made over the centuries and we certainly live a better life because of them. I’m not suggesting we accept all situations. Progress is needed. The trick is to know which is which.
When we start trying to change people that’s when we are walking in mine fields. Most of us don’t care for it when others want to change us. We’d prefer they accept us as we are.
I have a book in my library titled There is Power in Acceptance. I think I bought it because I liked the title. Whether you are after power or not you may be surprised to discover how far acceptance will take you in life.
I have an idea. Just as an experiment, take three days and practice acceptance. I mean accepting something about another person that you’d prefer were different. When you are faced with that something you do not like follow immediately with a deliberate thought of something you like about the person. It may be something small, even insignificant or it may be something truly important. Pet peeves are a good place to start. Make a note of your progress, privately of course.
For example, I often correct my husband for the words he uses that are not the best or most accurate choices in my humble opinion. I plan to practice overlooking this in the future and accepting his language. After all, I don’t correct him when he says, “I love you.”
I’m sure you can think of examples of your own.
Acceptance of Differences of Opinions
Moving on to more serious areas like politics and religion—how do you accept the opinions of people who disagree with you? Do you argue or try to convince them they should think as you do? Do you use guilt to persuade them?
I suggest a different approach:
- Ask questions (not sarcastic ones or ones to make them see it your way).
- Give them the benefit of accepting them as they are.
Acceptance When Life is Unfair
Much more serious—acceptance when life is unfair. I was a teacher in special education for ten years. I saw children with such major disabilities that you would never see them out in public. All of the children on my caseload had a visual impairment, but most also had other severe disabilities. Many of these children weren’t aware of their own existence. For me this is when it is most challenging to accept the circumstances of life.
There is a line in the complete version of the Serenity Prayer that speaks to this: “Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is not as I would have it.”
Part of the real beauty of life is that it’s unpredictable. Nothing is permanent, everything changes; and of course, a lot of things can happen that will transform who you are and have an impact on your life. The problem is that we need to cultivate the ability to truly accept whatever comes and embrace it.
Taken from “The Power of Acceptance: Stop Resisting and Find the Lesson.”
I am a Certified Professional Coach and I hold a degree from Lamar University in Speech and a Master’s from the University of Texas. I married Sam after raising three children as a single mother. I was an educator in regular and special education for twenty years, finishing my professional career as a Braille teacher. In 2007 I founded SMORE for Women. SMORE is a nonprofit association whose goal is Single Moms, Overjoyed, Rejuvenated, and Empowered. My stories have been published in several Christian books and magazines. My Website.