acceptanceAcceptance is the single most important quality for anyone who wishes to improve themselves to display – although not necessarily in the way many others prioritise it. While it is absolutely important to be accepting of everyone around you, no matter their circumstances, acceptance of self is far more critical.

Acceptance is understanding and acknowledging what the truth of something is. This is not to be mistaken for liking something – you certainly do not have to like or approve of anything to accept that it is true. You can easily accept the truth of being stuck in traffic without in any way enjoying the experience, it is simply the truth of your reality in that moment. Not accepting it is not going to make the traffic move any faster, or in any way change your circumstance other than increasing your own levels of denial.

The same can be said of ourselves. All of us have parts within that could be better – this is simply a fact of life. If we accept that the purpose of life is to evolve, then there must always be something to evolve into, and so there must always be parts of us that are not as evolved as they could be. And yet, how often do we see someone with a serious character flaw they refuse to see? This is of course avoidance and denial, pushing away anything that hurts or is traumatised in an effort to protect ourselves from pain. There is nothing ‘wrong’ with this type of behaviour, it simply means we have no access to those parts that are wounded to be able to heal them. Refusing to accept our shortcomings is what leads to most disfunction as humans, and this is the basic premise of modern psychology – to encourage us to face our wounding.

The ability to fully acknowledge and accept the parts within (without judging them as ‘good’ or ‘bad’) that still need work is the first (and most important) step in actually being able to resolve them, and how we continue to improve and evolve ourselves.

“Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there’s got to be a way through it.” – Michael J. Fox

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