Acceptance is the Key to Freedom
God grant me the serenity to
accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
The Serenity prayer from Alcoholics Anonymous has always been one of my favorites. Being able to accept a situation helps to reduce the suffering you may experience. But it is certainly easier said than done! Acceptance doesn’t mean not taking action and working towards your goal—it means understanding that all hardships have lessons for us to learn.
There is an adage “what you resist, persists.” So if you are resisting a crisis situation, it is going to cause you to feel more pain. If you understand that what is happening has some higher purpose for you on some level, it helps to diminish the pain. It won’t take it away completely but it will make it more managable. And also know that you will probably not know what the higher purpose is for some time. Seeing your life from a higher spiritual perspective, that is, realizing that all people and circumstances in our lives serve us on some level, will help you to be able to work with accepting your situation now.
I often use the phrase “release and surrender”, which for me is the same as forgiveness and acceptance. This does not mean giving up or giving in. It is not taking on a position of weakness but rather taking the higher road. It is helping you find your inner strength to carry on and to know that you can make it through anything. With time, this builds your self confidence too.
A martial arts expert uses the force (or energy) of their opponent to their advantage. They can flip their attacker easily by using the momentum of the movement coming towards them. The same can happen with a crisis—accept the situation and use the energy towards something good that will help you instead of break you.
Once we can figure out the lesson, or the higher purpose for any situation, we can often move on. Acceptance allows you to focus on what you need to discover about given circumstances and helps you to put your faith and trust in a higher power. Acceptance is the key to freeing your heart.