“Acceptance makes an incredible fertile soil for the seeds of change.”
-Steve Maraboli

There was an article I wrote for this site a few months back on acceptance and the aftermath of going through bad situations in life. I am posting parts of that article again but first, I feel the need to add something crucial to it that has more or less donned on me in the last month or so.

In the previous article, I talk about the acceptance of a problem as well as the acceptance of the aftermath. Before that, however, it is vital to accept one thing: happiness is fleeting.

Of course, under no circumstances am I advocating pessimism. I certainly don’t mean to imply to start counting the days till doomsday everytime the light of hope shines through.

Moments of happiness most definitely need to be savored, loved and nurtured. But practically, one needs to understand that it won’t last forever. Nothing does. And at no point have I have felt that more than in recent moments.

Each time I take one step forward, life throws me two steps back. And I’ve realized that accepting that makes it a lot easier to move forward. Life is not and never will be only a bed of roses. Just when you least expect it, you’ll feel a thorn pricking you.

But that doesn’t mean defeat. If you accept that, you’re prepared for it and can get through the thorns with just a little less pain. Think of it as keeping an aspirin in your pocket even amidst roses.

When the good comes, embrace it wholeheartedly and celebrate it for as long as you can. Just remember that at some point the party will end. If you’re prepared for it, you’ll know when to stop the cocktails. If you’re not, you’ll spend the morning after with an excruciating headache and perhaps excessive regurgitating.

With that, to complete the story, I here is a reprint of the previous article:

Experts say acceptance is the first step towards solving a problem. This ideology is almost universally accepted (no pun intended) by major recovery organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous to psychologists to self-help gurus.

And yet, it’s so crucial but so difficult to do because acceptance is often accompanied by an abundance of negative emotions. Firstly, there’s fear because if you admit you have a problem, you know it’s the first step of a long process to finding a solution. That can be scary to think about. There’s also a lot of reluctance because nobody, including myself, likes to admit their flaws.

There’s also a fear of change. Even though the present situation, be it addiction, financial problems or mental health issues, might be as bad as they come at least you know the situation. The future is unpredictable. No matter how much how noble one’s goals are to suggest optimism on the horizon, we know that’s not always the case.

Even in the most perilous situations, there’s a false sense of stability. If you’re an alcoholic, you know you’ll be drinking all day today and tomorrow. Good or bad, that will happen. But if you try to change, will your body survive without alchohol? How painful will the withdrawal symptoms be? What if you relapse? These kind of thoughts never stop stinging in a negative atmosphere.

So what’s the solution? How do we make the process of acceptance much easier and more promising?

Firstly, when you’re ready to make a change admit a flaw or a problem, remember one thing: There’s a 50-50 chance of outcomes no matter what. Yes, there’s bad but there’s also an equal probability of good. This is with every single thing in your life. Even something as insignificant as stepping into a shower could be bad as you could slip on a bar of soap. But you still do it regardless. Driving could lead to an accident even if you’re the most cautious and law-abiding driver ever. Yet it has to be done.

The same logic could be applied to the aftermath of acceptance. Yes, things COULD go wrong but they could also go right. Bet on it with the same gamble you take with taking a shower and driving.

Secondly, make acceptance a two-part process. The first part is admitting the problem. But in the same sentence, you can add some optimistic words. You could say, “I’m an alcoholic who’ll have a better future when I quit drinking.”

Analyze that sentence. The first three words are negative but are immediately followed by postive phrases such as “better future” and “quit drinking.” By saying that, you’ve just implanted your mind with an acceptance of your problem as well as an acceptance of a brighter future.

Acceptance can be a scary thing to go through for a number of reasons. But there’s nothing stopping you from adding your own reasons that are positive to balance out the pessimism. All of walks of life could go in any direction, bad or good. But you’ll never know until you start the journey.

To sum everything up, when faced with the fear of acceptance, remember the 50-50 probability and remember to amalgamate acceptance with an optimistic outlook of the future.

How do you feel about accepting a flaw or a bad situation? Is it easy for you? If not, what makes it difficult? Do you think the tips in this article could help? Share your thoughts and experiences by commenting below on our secure servers.

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Samantha Leboeuf (@guest_7102)
9 months ago

Wonderful advice

Shirley Satterfield (@shirleymandelsatterfield)
9 months ago

Your articles are so helpful, Neel.

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