Virtue #1 – Acceptance
I have gone to that universally recognized bastion of higher learning and wisdom…Wikipedia, to retrieve this snippet of knowledge…okay actually I just thought it was a good definition.
Acceptance in human psychology is a person’s assent to the reality of a situation, recognizing a process or condition (often a negative or uncomfortable situation) without attempting to change it, protest, or exit.
Go back and re-read the definition again.
Actually you might want to s-l-o-w-l-y read it a third time.
Notice there is nothing in the definition that prescribes a need to agree with what we are accepting.
I believe therein lies the rub (as my Father was fond of saying). This is where we stumble. We believe if we accept something we must agree with it. Especially as you look at the last portion of the definition “without attempting to change it, protest, or exit.” If we don’t make any attempt to change or protest isn’t that just basically laying down.
No I don’t think so. We can still talk. We can begin a dialogue. We can enter in and begin to see why a person or situation has developed a certain way. Far more times than I wish to admit I have, on first take, been repulsed, disgusted, or otherwise disagreed strongly, but after closer inspection, I’ve changed my mind.
Why is that? What is it which causes us to have that almost knee-jerk reaction? At times it nearly feels instinctive.
I’ve given this considerable thought over the years and here is what I’ve come up with. I am convinced we must let go of something deep within us. A thing which gnaws at the root of our thoughts and poisons our reasoning. That thing is fear.
I can nearly hear the screams now…what with the mad fumbling for the mouse so they can scroll down to the bottom of this post, whip off some insightful comments about how this time I have swerved too far into the touchie-feelie world of the ultra left, then hit the POST COMMENT button.
But I’m holding steady on this. Time over time as I’ve talked with friends, co-workers and others, when we have been open, transparent, and honest, I hear about fears.
Maybe the best place to start with acceptance, is with our own fears. The research I have done provides an overwhelming amount of data about how we should overcome our fears. Here again I’m about to go against the flow. I don’t think we should overcome our fears per se. It is my contention we should expose our fears, then use them. Some fears are good fears, such as my fear of burglary (our home has been broken into three times), consequently my wife and I exercise certain precautions. Other fears are not so good, such as fear of success. That fear causes more entrepreneurs to fail and careers to stumble than I ever imagined. Recognizing and acknowledging fear of success (I have it-long story-just trust me) goes along way in harnessing it to my advantage.
Acceptance of fears…try it…let me know how it goes.
Try to keep those toughie-feelie ultra left comments to a minimum…lol…please.