Acceptance In Bloom:

Embracing The Unalterable

“Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.” – J.K. Rowling

A problem must first be explored and understood, before it can be solved. However, upon analyzing certain problems that you encounter, you may arrive at an unsatisfying, frustrating realization; the problem in question is, in fact, seemingly unsolvable. When faced with an object that is truly immovable, you must work towards accepting the unalterable reality of what cannot be changed. Your goal should be to accept reality and to find a state of peace created by acceptance of that which is changeless. Remember, to accept something is also to cease struggling against it, perhaps circumnavigating it in order to progress. Much like the physical resolution of a problem, this acceptance allows for an increased sense of well-being, of contentment. It allows you to move on, to focus on things that actually can be changed, or to simply regain a greater sense of composure because a stressor has been alleviated.

“Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t care about someone anymore. It’s just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.” – Deborah Reber

Too often in life we must let go of or circumvent someone we cherish because continued association with that person causes us increased personal harm. You’ve begged, pleaded or tried to reason with them, but they remain steadfast in embodying something that’s damaging for you to connect with. Perhaps this person is acting in accordance with their core values, or maybe they’ve become twisted by the obstacles they’ve failed to overcome in their own life. Regardless of their backstory or intent, if the reality is that they cannot or will not change, then the threat they pose to your happiness, to your prosperity, will not change either. Do not manifest animosity towards these people, this will only increase your discontent. Instead, realize that emotional decisions are not rational. Once someone has made a decision on an illogical, emotional basis, it may be impossible for you to reason with them factually. Endlessly engaging with them, struggling to change them, will only be an exercise in futility. You can offer opportunities to others, but ultimately only they can decide whether to accept these gifts or not. You have no ability to force them, no ability to inject a different perspective against their will. Remember, the only person you can actually control is yourself.

“The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.” – John green

To struggle is an inherent component of survival, intrinsic to all living things. Suffering, however, is an interpretation by the conscious mind of said struggle, an often lasting state of distress experienced because of one’s perspective on reality. Even in the event that something is objectively damaging to your body or mind, it is generally the flawed interpretation of this damage that leads to suffering. For this reason, it is important to consider the context and intent surrounding the actions or beliefs of other people. After all, it’s usually easier to forgive someone who has accidentally rather than knowingly caused you harm, isn’t it?

If you personify a perspective that frames all of the obstacles presented by others as malevolent, as attacks on your resolve with malicious intent, you will likely increase the suffering you experience. If instead you more often see these exterior challenges as mere conflicts, discrepancies between the perspectives of others and your own that may impede you but are not necessarily intentionally spiteful, it becomes easier to temper your negative emotions and to experience less suffering. Though there are certainly damaged, ill-natured people in this world who relish harming others, this is psychopathy and is not the default state of the conscious mind. Most who damage or impede you are simply selfish, in the most literal sense. They exemplify narrow perspectives and are too limited or deluded to objectively observe how their actions actually affect the lives of others. Whether these people can or will change is a different issue, but the key to lessening your own suffering is certainly to refrain from automatically interpreting their ignorance as calculated ill-will.

“Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it can. And just when you think it can’t get any better, it can.” – Nicholas Sparks

Life is always going to present unexpected obstacles as well as victories. Whenever you think you’ve figured out how to live your best life, you will again be challenged by unexpected, unforeseeable extrinsic forces. For this reason, resiliency in the face of all challenges and acceptance of the unyielding realities that truly cannot be altered, is of foremost importance. Additionally, cultivating a perspective that is peaceful, open to and grateful for the positivity in your life, allows you not only be happier but to be more receptive to opportunities for increasing your happiness, possibilities you may have missed if you were instead stuck being spiteful or ruminating cynically. Be open, learn to navigate both the joys and sorrows that your existence is sure to impart. Be motivated to create the best life possible, to become the best person you can, while still recognizing that you can only fully control yourself. This is what makes your path in life not just a journey, but a true adventure.

“Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it.” – Ray Bradbury

You can control yourself, changing your personal beliefs or actions willfully, but you cannot force anything outside of yourself to change with absolute certainty. You may will it, or work to achieve it, but in the end there will be many things in life which must simply be accepted rather than struggled against. Your intention should likely be to live a balanced life, one in which you embody a nuanced perspective capable of pivoting between peaceful acceptance and empowered, productive action. You should embody resiliency to fight against the world and to overcome its challenges, but also acceptance, good-nature and peace in the face of those things which truly cannot be changed.