During these unprecedented times I am, like many of you, spending more time alone with my thoughts. I am thankful for this, as our lives are typically a flurry of schedules that leave us exhausted at the end of each day, with little time left for reflection. In doing so, I have realized that surprisingly, I am not feeling overly anxious or stressed. So I want to share the reason why in the hope that this may also help some of you. And it all comes down to a singular thought which is Acceptance.
Acceptance is a major theme that runs through the work of the Ryan Bartel Foundation, and to do it justice I want to share three different perspectives on it:
It can be difficult to accept certain situations. Things that happen that are out of our immediate control can make us anxious, uncomfortable, stressed. Rather than fight what is, try to find ease in Acceptance. Mindful Acceptance means to be in the embrace of what is, without resistance. Accept difficulty as an opportunity. This is the sure way to end up with no difficulties at all.
The Grace of Self-Acceptance
We often reject and suppress vast parts of ourselves, and we are not even conscious of it. Suppressing aspects of yourself can create permanent tension in your body and your mental state. You are much more likely to feel stressed, drained, anxious or depressed.
Once you start the process of self-acceptance, you’ll feel an urge to let go of needing validation from others and others’ opinion. It no longer matters if people like you because you like yourself, just as you are. You make space for your true nature to shine, and this light of yours will naturally attract everything good in your life. Self-acceptance means you are at peace with yourself, because you are perfect just as you are.
The Gift of Accepting Others
Acceptance of others is the ability to see that others have a right to be their own unique persons. That means having a right to their own feelings, thoughts and opinions. When you accept people for who they are, you let go of your desire to change them.
Not accepting others is a result of seeing the negative in them. Instead of focusing on why someone is different, focus on what's good about that person and his/her choices and actions. Practicing Acceptance of others makes you a more loving, compassionate person. Compassion and self-acceptance are cornerstones of happiness.
Coming to a complete state of Acceptance takes practice and I am in no way there yet, but I know that practicing intentional Acceptance has helped me find more peace.