Dancing with Humility: 3 Lessons on the Strength of Acceptance
“The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance”- Nathaniel Branden
The Strength of Acceptance
Acceptance is not passivity or weakness, it is a wonderful strength. Acceptance sits on a broad spectrum. We can view it from the perspective of how we accept ourselves and those around us, and from the standpoint of how we navigate ourselves through life’s natural twists and turns. Whichever way we look at it, acceptance offers us a key to a heightened sense of inner peace and resolution. When we accept ourselves in the totality of who we are, we transcend to a greater love of self and everything that makes the whole. When we accept any challenging circumstances that we may be facing, we place the power to shift that situation back into our own hands for a potentially more positive outcome.
Acceptance allows room for insightful awareness, conscious thinking and understanding. If we cannot first accept a circumstance for what it is, then how can we ever overcome it?
It is inevitable that you will be challenged. You are exerted beyond what you feel are your own measures and limits so that you can blossom and grow into life. In doing so, you surpass even your own expectations.
“Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune” – William James
1. Introspective perception and action
We get stuck in circumstance when we continually fight against what is before us. Our survival instinct bears a battle mode charge from within and we strike out from a place of fear. Naturally our defence mechanisms kick in and walls come up when we feel threatened in any way. When we act from a place of fear and anxiety our choices are coloured with the same dye from the source of that inner conflict. When we patiently allow for introspection, we can observe the situation from another perspective and determine better choices. We can loosen our grip and move away from our inherent denial of what we are dealing with, instead, we choose to retreat in order for our inner vision to paint an alternate picture. Perspectives are our precious gifts of insight.
When we battle our challenges they only cause us further inner harm and detract us from our centre of deeper knowledge and wisdom. Yet when we immerse back into ourselves- away from external influence, we can fight back with the gentler yet more forceful strength of our inner compass.
2. Acceptance fortifies inner strength and patience
We cannot force the hand of fortune or fate to deal us the cards we want in life. The essence of our being is one of experience and immersing into the whole symphony of our existence. This includes the good, the bad, and the ugly. We cannot cherry-pick our challenges and tough times. However, we can rise above them with a greater strength and backbone of trust in the unique shape of our journey, and ourselves. Through acceptance of life’s ebb and flow and undercurrents of pain and adversity, we can enter our experience of living with a whole heart. Grounding ourselves in going all the way-whatever it may bring.
When we realise the value of patience, understanding and acceptance we can touch back to the essential vitality we have within to adjust, move, and engage with flow rather than fear.
“Acceptance of one’s life has nothing to do with resignation; it does not mean running away from the struggle. On the contrary, it means accepting it as it comes, with all the handicaps of heredity, of suffering, of psychological complexes and injustices” – Paul Tournier
3. Acceptance moves us from mind to heart
Accepting difficulty, pain, heartbreak, and times of loss is a humbling experience. Humility connects us back to our heart-space. A subtle intelligence that lies beneath our subconscious. Our dance with humility heightens our senses of love, compassion, and intrinsic fragility. When we argue with life, it argues right back at us. When we fight with fear, fear fights back. Yet when we step back and contemplate what the situation is actually giving us the opportunity to unfold- we can move to a mindfulness of where the lesson is. And there is always a lesson- “acceptance is a small, quiet room”. Acceptance breaks us out of the shell of disharmony and conflict-driven actions. From our heart-space we manoeuvre toward a wisdom-seeking openness, faith and trust in the bigger picture.
You are never given any circumstance by the hands of fate or fortune, higher will or destiny that you cannot overcome.
We are our own charming and divine masters. We have been birthed into life with all we need to reach for our greater visions. A future that only we can beautifully write. The art of acceptance is a dance with the humility of our soul consciousness.