Acceptance is typically such a word that has many interpretations. Often people think that it means that you have to agree with everything or that it is a kind of resignation or resignation: “Don’t complain but bear it”. In this article, I would like to explain my vision of acceptance that is positive, active, and empowering.
We naturally want to feel good. That is ingrained in being human and is in fact aimed at our survival. So it is a normal, natural, and useful process that we strive to feel good. However, we find ourselves in an inner struggle when we resist unpleasant feelings such as sadness, fear or anger. Viewed from the soul, these feelings are not negative but just as normal and human as all other feelings. However, our old brain, focused on survival, automatically rejects these feelings. That is the default setting of the reptilian brain, which thinks there is danger.
The resistance to unpleasant feelings is disapproval and rejection of the feeling and experience that is there at that moment. This is the opposite of acceptance and will cause you restlessness and even more unpleasant feelings.
Think about it: now you’re annoyed because you feel something you don’t want to feel. If you’re not careful, you’ll also get angry because you’re irritated and you intended to remain calm. Then you disapprove of yourself for your anger. Do you see what’s happening? This way you end up in a downward spiral of resistance, judgment and resistance and it only gets worse.
Let go of the fight
The next time you have feelings and emotions that you find unpleasant and unwanted, try this:
- Acknowledge the feeling
- State what you feel, for example, “anger is being felt”
- Observe this without judgment, without resistance
- Decide to let this feeling be there and give it even more space
You will soon notice that relaxation is coming. Every feeling has a natural rhythm and flows on its own if you give it the space to come and go. All you have to do is not block this process with your resistance.
So should I just approve and even applaud everything?
The feelings that can be felt in you want to be recognized and given space for their natural progression. That’s not to say you should like everything that happens. For example, you may be justifiably angry that someone is treating you disrespectfully.
If you acknowledge your anger and actively accept it, it’s much better to say no and set your boundary, or say “I don’t accept this from you”.
Acceptance of your own feelings
By accepting your own feelings and taking them seriously, you will stand firmer because you are not involved in an inner battle. Every inner conflict creates a division in you. This shreds your energy both internally and outwardly. If you want to act grounded and effectively, align your inner self with what is going on inside you. By giving your inner world space, you will automatically give yourself space in the outside world.
Practice makes perfect
This takes some practice because the patterns of the old brain are deeply ingrained. Fortunately, we also have a new brain, the neo cortex, with which we can make conscious decisions that overrule old patterns.