This is one of the phrases I repeat to myself quite often now. The mindful concept of acceptance was such a hard one for me to wrap my head around. Why accept what isn’t good? Isn’t that just throwing up your hands and waving a white flag? That’s for wimps. But is it?
What I have come to understand is that not accepting what ‘is’ is a futile effort. If I am feeling uncomfortable about something, I can choose to resist it which will likely cause me more suffering. Or I can choose to accept that it is happening and then make conscious choices about what to do about it. I may choose to breathe through it and know that this, too, shall pass. Or I may choose to take action. Either way, acceptance doesn’t mean rolling over and playing dead. It means understanding that ‘shit happens’ and denying it won’t make it go away or be untrue.
“What is is” is such an overused phrase but … it is true! Think about it. What is is. Accept that fact. The next thing to ask yourself is what you can do about it. Can you change it? If not, then anything but acceptance will cause suffering. That doesn’t mean you have to like it. Or that it feels good. It simply means you are facing reality and know that there are things out of our control. How can you soothe yourself? Try taking some long, slow breaths. Feel what you are feeling and then let it go. (I know … easier said than done but keep practicing and it does get easier.)
If you can change it, which may mean changing yourself or the situation, then go for it! We actually have more control than we give ourselves credit for. If you aren’t happy with a situation, figure out how to change it. No extra credit in life given for suffering. I heard that, “…acceptance is the frequency of miracles.” It just might be!