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What is Acceptance?

Updated: Nov 26, 2021

Has anyone ever told you that you have to "just" accept something? But what does that even sounds like there should be some acceptance switch that you can simply flick & you're all sorted.

I don't know about you, but I've never managed to discover where mine is!

Two switches to represent turning acceptance on and off

Acceptance isn't something that we just instinctively know how to do...

Acceptance is a choice...

Acceptance is a skill...

Acceptance is a practice that has to be nurtured and developed... takes work!

But thinking about Aceptance in this way can help us break it down into component parts & in turn feel less overwhelmed by the thing we are struggling with.

Acceptance isn't a case of trying to like the situation...

Acceptance isn't just sucking it up...

Acceptance isn't wanting or welcoming it...

A mug with a slogan saying "I can't even" to represent the resistance to acceptance that may occur

Acceptance is making space for the discomfort & then refocusing on what is important to you.

Acceptance is about being able to actively tolerate a situation without getting all hooked up by challenging emotions that may be connected with the situation. This helps us avoid ending up in a fruitless battle railing against something that we can't change.

A key part of acceptance is noticing difficult feelings that are coming up for us & acknowledging the discomfort they bring. This can be as simple as saying things like "I am anxious", "I am furious" or "I am sad" out loud to yourself whatever that discomfort is.

A figure shouting through a cone to emphasis naming difficult feelings and acknowledging discomfort and difficult thoughts

The idea is to simply notice and identify these feelings without judging them - emotions aren't good or bad, they just are what they are. This then helps us to tolerate the feelings that are coming up for us so that we can start to see that they will pass on their own.

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