The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Finding Acceptance

The idea of acceptance is one of these concepts that take a lifetime to master.

Whatever acceptance is will depend on the circumstances one is in as well as what it is one desires to achieve. It is situational and there is no general answer to what the concept is and how it can be applied.

The closest I’m coming to understanding the idea of acceptance right now is to see it as an awareness of the situation as is, that is including my ability to make a choice and act accordingly.

Making a choice can be taking a moment to see what is within my control and what isn’t. Acceptance then is to act on whatever it is that is within my control. It’s not within my control to make my reaction of frustration go away when a task can’t be achieved immediately, but it is within my control to reassess the situation and be attentive to the relationship at that moment.

An awareness of the situation as is can mean noticing all the competing and conflicting emotions the situation is triggering. Acceptance then is to allow the emotions to coexist. One can be happy at the luck someone else has and at the same time be frustrated that one didn’t have the same luck. One can be sad at someone else’s loss and at the same time be happy that it didn’t happen to oneself.

Deciding to lead comes with the ambivalence of having to make uncomfortable choices. It implies holding the understanding that our decisions and actions will not please everyone, will encounter resistance, and may need perseverance to become acceptable and possible for others. It also implies that sometimes people will follow just because someone takes the lead but is not fully engaged. Acceptance then is the knowledge that mutual trust in one’s leadership constantly needs to be reinstalled.

Guilt or shame may appear in these situations, they are there to signal the presence of ambivalence and conflicting emotions. It’s a natural reaction of being human with a desire for certainty. The task as a human however is to assess how much certainty is possible and needed at any given moment. It means to accept that there will never be everlasting certitude.

And acceptance means that the theory of this post will be questioned every time it is difficult to find what acceptance is asked of us in that situation.



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