I woke up at 4:30 am on Saturday so that I could trail run before the trail got crowded.
I find being alone on the trail clears my mind. I often have great insights while train running. It gives me an incredible sense of freedom to be surrounded by pine-covered hills, patches of wildflowers, deer grazing, birds singing, and the breeze whistling its own tune.
As I was nearing the end of the run, I started thinking about the idea of acceptance and how it can sometimes be confused with complacency and even resignation.
Acceptance vs resignation.
Many times when we think of acceptance, our default is to associate it with resignation.
If I accept myself at this level of earning, doesn’t that mean I am saying I don’t think I’m capable of more?
If I accept myself at this weight and level of fitness, doesn’t that mean I don’t care about my health?
Let’s explore this more.
Acceptance is acknowledging what is. I accept my current income. This doesn’t mean I like it necessarily.
I can choose to stay at that level or I can choose to change it. I am starting with clarity and consciousness. This is where I am. This is where I would like to be. What can I do to get there?
Acceptance honors where you are and what it took to get there.
Resignation says this is all there is. The belief and energy are different. Resignation doesn’t see change as possible. That’s just the way it is, says resignation. Might as well give up.
It is the energy of defeat. It is the belief of the victim.
Let’s look at different contexts.
With marriage, the question is do you accept this person to be your spouse? That means as they are, no matter what may come. The question isn’t do you resign yourself to this marriage?
Some people may enter relationships resigning themselves to the belief this is as good as they could get. How well do you think that marriage will go?
Acceptance allows for growth. With children, we accept they can’t walk, talk, read, or write. That doesn’t mean they are resigned to not walk, talk, read, or write for the rest of their lives.
When we accept where they are, we then see how we can guide them to grow.
Acceptance brings clear eyes and less judgment.
Judgment does not lead to growth, counter to what we may believe.
Acceptance means you own your desires and your abilities to realize them. Resignation sees those desires as too far out of reach, might as well stay where you are.
Acceptance is ownership.
You can accept where you are, what got you there, and what you can do to continue to move towards what it is you desire. It is the energy of love and curiosity.
Resignation is the energy of fear and criticism.
Accepting where you are — in your business, finances, relationship, and health – doesn’t mean that you stay where you are. That would be resignation: “That’s just the way things are.”
Acceptance acknowledges that things are the way they are in this moment and can be changed in the next.
Resignation sees that what is undesirable is inevitable.
Acceptance sees where they are with appreciation and sees their desires as a natural inclination for growth.
How can you grow if you don’t first accept where you are? It’s like not having a starting point on a journey. This doesn’t mean you fester about where you are, making yourself feel bad for your current state of affairs. It simply means taking stock.
Resignation is “I’ve got to get through this.” Acceptance is “what can I do to take advantage of this situation?”
Acceptance is “my experience is created within.” Resignation is “external situations determine my internal state.”
Personal responsibility and ownership vs victim mentality and blaming.
Your life will be dramatically different depending on what you choose. Not accepting full responsibility for your life, your well being, and your decisions is a choice. It might be operating at a lower level of consciousness but it is still a choice.
Notice your behavior, actions, and conversations. Then look at the beliefs that led to them.
What are you experiencing? What actions and behaviors led to that experience? What beliefs led to those behaviors? Which of those beliefs are coming from victim mentality and fear and which are coming from ownership and love?
You’re either dying or growing. Victim mentality leads to resignation and depression which stunts growth. Ownership leads to acceptance and empowerment which promotes positive change.
Everything is possible.
You create your own misery or your own happiness – not your circumstances, your family, or society.
Your own restriction or limitation or oppression or your own freedom and liberation.
Your own failure or your own success. Your own hatred or your own love. Your own fear or your own joy.
Change occurs within and it starts, paradoxically, with acceptance.
Only then will that which is outside of you change.