I sometimes think of myself as a “fledgling warrior of acceptance”.
Why “warrior?” Because unconditional acceptance is so damn hard!
Why “fledgling?”, because I’m not very good at it!
True acceptance is to acknowledge the facts of the world as they are and to interact gracefully with the demands of the present moment, whether you like the way things are right now or not. This involves confronting uncomfortable truths. For instance, it could mean we are willing to experience feelings of sadness and allow the unhappy feeling to exist for the time it takes to pass through our heart. Rather than attempting to escape from uncomfortable emotions—and getting stuck in our resistance—we accept all feelings with self-compassion.
This kind of heroic acceptance is just an acknowledgement of reality as it is—not as we wish it were, not as we think it should be, but as it is in the present moment, including potentially disappointing aspects. It takes commitment and courage, but when applied correctly, this warrior skill removes the added tension that comes with judging (and resisting) a reality as good or bad, right or wrong.
It allows us to redirect our energies to access resources—inner and outer—and be more creative. Acceptance helps us clarify our goals, given the current circumstances, rather than dwelling on“shoulds” or “if-onlys.”