Accepting a situation that has gone wrong, where things haven’t happened the way they should, doesn’t mean you give up. You may feel ashamed if you let go of unpleasant circumstances that are beyond your control. But you may not be giving up just yet.
Seeing acceptance as giving up is a belief that needs to be re-evaluated. Like many other beliefs, it can trip you up and prevent you from facing your circumstances as best you can. Today we will help you break down this belief so that you can see acceptance and giving up from a new perspective.
Marsha M. Linehan developed the concept of radical acceptance, but Tara Brach made it known. They are both psychologists and the concept has roots in Buddhist philosophy.
It urges us to let go of all expectations because they only make us suffer in vain. Therefore, we must give up and stop resisting that which is impossible to change. Or that which is indeed possible to change, because changes start with accepting the problem and not denying it.
But let’s not confuse giving up with becoming a victim. Acceptance should not lead us to hide behind complaints. Radical acceptance means appreciating what happened from a different perspective, where everything happens in its own way. We can’t change it, but we can control how we respond to it.
Refusing to accept reality is exhausting
If it seems like a bad idea to change your plan or take a break, denying reality is a much worse idea (unless you’ve been through a serious shock or trauma, such as losing a loved one). But this attitude is exhausting. It’s harmful. It makes you stumble over the same stone over and over, stubborn and without learning.
It is true that reality sometimes hurts a lot. However, refusing to accept or give up will only turn your pain into suffering. Your complaints will not be heard, all those “why me” will not be answered. Things happen because they do; there doesn’t have to be an obvious reason. But you get the last word. You have the power to decide where you go.
You are not a victim unless you decide to be. If you decide to become a victim, you are feeding recurring thoughts and getting lost in an endless negative cycle. This cycle has only two options: depression or anxiety. You may think that you have achieved something by choosing the hardest path. But remember that the path that requires the most effort is not always the best choice.
Accepting your situation is the best way to change it. Take it as an opportunity to find and learn a new path. Escaping never works and not taking responsibility for your future works even less. Acceptance, on the other hand, is the way forward.