What does it mean to accept? Acceptance can sometimes carry a negative connotation, especially in my line of work as an intuitive career coach and energy therapist. I am no stranger to hearing a dramatic sigh accompanied by a desperate resignation, “Oh well, I guess I just have to accept things as they are.” It’s such a bummer to hear these types of expressions because acceptance in it’s purest form is an act of joyful awareness and love.
Acceptance. What does it mean? It means to take or receive, to claim as true, usually in a favorable manner. But it goes deeper than that. Acceptance is an abstract term that has real life meaning and our life experiences are those that allow us to understand and experience its meaning for ourselves.
I have coached people who have struggled with acceptance and have struggled with it for months, if not years. They have been so unhappy and miserable with their experience that they do anything but accept where they are. But why can’t we accept that part of our lives, and more importantly, ourselves, that is suffering?
Acceptance is acknowledging that even unhappy life experiences are those of our choosing – in some cosmic way, either by karmic contract, learning spiritual lessons, unresolved past life trauma, taking on unhealthy behaviors and habits, or just by engaging in thoughtless, repetitive choices – set us up for a new level of consciousness. It’s hard to accept that the miserable situation I find myself in is because I willed it into happening. It’s unnecessary to take responsibility of the circumstance, but it is necessary to take responsibility for the part of ourselves that is suffering both as a causal factor and as a result.
We send those parts of ourselves into oblivion. We curse the part of ourselves that continually engages in risky behavior; we hate or even ignore that part of ourselves that is addicted to drama or stress; we constantly say to ourselves and our confidants, “You know what it is that’s causing my problem? This fill in the blank is! That’s what’s wrong!” We are ready to accept the problem, “my cancer,”, “my addiction”, “my weight”, “my mistakes”. But we don’t accept the part that’s hurting, which is ultimately communicating the reason for the pain in the first place.
What about the inner child that’s suffering? The aspect of our soul and ego that is bleeding? We disdain those parts for “causing” the problem, but we don’t accept that they’re hurting, that they need help, and that we are responsible for our experiencing – and more aptly, re-experiencing and perpetuating – the suffering.
The unconscious attachment to the suffering and failing to accept and communicate with it is what perpetuates the suffering we experience. We forgot how to communicate with and believe the truth that is trying desperately to come out. Through the acceptance of our pain and the suffering that we experience (much of the time on a seemingly reverberating loop), we can journey into the unknown to realize (that is, become fully aware of and know) what our soul needs to move forward and out of the suffering. We get stuck because we haven’t yet recognized the parts of ourselves that need healing and that the experience we are currently in is one of our choosing as to facilitate the healing of that part in need.
We call this parts therapy in hypnosis. It’s called a bunch of other things in the healing profession. It starts by recognizing and accepting the parts of ourselves that are unwell – the spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical conditions – and to welcome them back into the whole. We cast out the behaviors, the choices, the addictions, and choose to keep the part that was communicating the illness as it was faithfully doing the job it took to get our attention to shift gears.
Acceptance of the painful circumstances comes from the acceptance of the part of us that was hurting. It says, “I was unwell. A part of me was communicating the emotional/spiritual/mental block. I accept its message, the conditions in which I chose to experience and understand it, and now I release it from its duty. I am aware now. I can choose differently in order to move forward as the old choices no longer fit the new paradigm needed for my journey. I am whole. I am well.”
Accepting a situation isn’t a nice way of saying “giving up”. Acceptance means believing that there is a reason and a purpose for the experience that simply acts as a set up for the dialogue that will ultimately occur between oneself and the part that is hurting in order to reach a whole new level of spiritual and personal understanding. When this occurs, the forward movement into unknown is surprisingly an illuminated act.