Acceptance

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it” – Mary Engelbreit

I used to be troubled by the saying “it is what it is.” I thought it was a way for people to throw in the towel, to stop fighting for what they believed in.

I was troubled by this saying because I always wanted things to be different.

But what I’ve learned is that there is a time and place for everything– a time to continue fighting and a time to accept what is. Both can exist in harmony. But sometimes acceptance takes much more strength and courage. Acceptance becomes difficult when we expect things to be different than the way they are. We cling to this vision of the way things should be, and the more we hold on, the more we experience pain.

Acceptance is the only way we can release ourselves from the suffering of failed expectations. It’s difficult to do because no one teaches us how to accept the bad– we only learn how to accept the good. But acceptance can be practiced everyday and soon enough it will become easier to do.

Accept the person who cuts you off in the morning instead of reacting in anger. Accept your boss’ attitude when you feel like you did nothing wrong. Accept the friend that never returned your phone call. Practice little acts of acceptance everyday and soon you’ll be ready for the time when acceptance will truly be your saving grace.

Here are some of my favorite quotes on acceptance:

“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace within ourselves” – Dalai Lama

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” – Lao Tzo

“By accepting yourself and being fully what you are, your presence can make others happy” – Jane Roberts

“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it” – Eckhart Tolle

“Happiness can exist only in acceptance” – George Orwell

“My happiness grows in direct proportion to my acceptance, and in inverse proportion to my expectations” – Michael J. Fox

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

“As you become more clear about who you really are, you’ll be better able to decide what is best for you – the first time around” – Oprah Winfey

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