What is acceptance?
Often, when we learn about the concept of acceptance we confuse it with giving up, to admitting defeat.
True acceptance is the opposite of defeat. Acceptance is a posture of empowerment!
In simplest terms, here at Liberated Mind when we use the word acceptance we do so to convey an ACT of choice; choosing to stop fighting with ourselves. This relates to the concept you have likely heard about called ‘radical acceptance‘.
Our friend Russ Harris says it this way:
It’s time to turn the struggle switch off!
How do you flip that switch? Great question!
The first step is to stop fighting the emotions / thoughts that are coming up. Instead, aiming some curiosity into your (inner) experience. Become a friendly scientist by asking yourself, “why am I feeling this way?” or “I notice I’m feeling ____.” Reframing like this is the first step to acceptance.
After dropping the struggle and calling up some curiosity, the next step is to come into the present moment. Engage in mindfulness exercises getting you out of autopilot mode so that you can truly NOTICE the story your mind is telling you.
This form of acceptance allows your experience to inform your next actions. Will those next actions move you Toward or Away from your values?
Noticing and accepting is simple to understand, but far from easy to do. But with practice, you can improve!
One of the best ways to improve your minds ability to stop the autopilot response is by adopting a regular practice of mindfulness/meditation. Like going to the gym to strengthen your body, going to the mental gym through regular mindfulness/meditation requires a commitment to the exercises.
Acceptance is the first step. Are you willing to stop the struggle and take the first step?
If so, are you willing to commit to the work of improving the relationship you have to your thoughts by adopting a regular practice of mindfulness/meditation?!
The team at Liberated Mind is here to help you through each of these steps on your path to giving up the struggle, the path to acceptance, and living a life moving you Toward your values.Schedule your next session today!
This post does not constitute therapeutic counseling or advice; the contents of this post are provided as a learning resource. We share the contents hoping that if you are in need of mental health support you will reach out to us directly or to a mental health professional in your area.