For this week’s question, Calen still has us pondering prompts from Philip Simmons’ book Learning to Fall.
What does acceptance feel like? How does it differ from resignation or passivity?
This is a great prompt because I spent an entire year back in 2014 focusing on Acceptance. It is not about being passive because you are not just allowing things to happen to you without pushing back. It is not resignation because of stepping down from unpleasant situations. Acceptance means that you consciously recognize that a situation is out of your means of control and there is no sense in fretting over it. You quietly say inside your mind, “I cannot change this,” and allow yourself to peacefully affirm it. This releases your attachment to whatever the situation is.
Here is an example of one of my moments of acceptance. My then-husband and I were out driving around and had a flat tire. His first reaction was frustration and anger (we’d been having a series of flat tires of late, but he would only buy used tires, so what can you expect?). He got out of the car, stormed around a bit, ranted and raved and then set about changing the tire. Normally, I would have reacted to his anger with some of my own or attempt to calm him down (which never worked anyway). But not on this particular day. I’d only been practicing Acceptance for two months, but thought this was a perfect time to do so. I got out of the car and went to a tree in someone’s yard. I sat under the tree and just listened to the wind blowing (it was March) and the birds chirping. I fell into complete bliss because I knew I couldn’t change what was happening and I accepted that I didn’t need to be involved in the rants and anger. It was one of the most life-affirming things I’d ever done.