This particular epiphany happened as I was looking in the mirror shaving this morning. I was looking at this tired, aging, overweight, unkempt man and thinking unkind thoughts at him. At the same time other thoughts were dancing a wonderful dance in my mind. Thoughts of recent events in my life. Thoughts of recent conversations. Snippets of what was and what will be. And ideas for the Weekly Photo Challenge (“Regret” this week).
This concept popped into the middle of my thoughts, like the sudden skilled dancer on a Caucasian dance floor, and all the other thoughts (dancers) ran to circle around it. It is a concept I agree with; embrace; use often, but I always had one slight issue with it. In my mind, sometimes accepting is admitting defeat. It seems if we simply accept something as being unchangeable, we are in fact creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. We are basically saying to ourselves that we acknowledge that we can not change it, and therefore will not actually try.
And then …
The man in the mirror transformed!
He stopped being the “tired, aging, overweight, unkempt man”. Before my eyes he became a beautiful, powerful being of limitless potential. And what caused this change? The simple fact that I suddenly truly understood what the philosophical ramifications of “acceptance” are.
Once again it is all a matter of perspective.
It has always been nails on the chalkboard of life when somebody tells me to simply “Accept it, That’s the way it is!”, though I could never adequately explain to others why it bothered me so. The reason is as I was just saying. Frequently when someone says that they are effectively saying, “Stop whining, because YOU can NOT change it!”, which in most cases is actually what they believe.
But it dawned on me that accepting things as they are is not saying that things cannot change, but rather things cannot change AT THE MOMENT. Since I am one who fully values the moment, I should have realized this much sooner! Accepting does not mean giving up. It does not mean acknowledging that there is no chance of change. It simply means that we acknowledge that this is the way things are RIGHT NOW, and even if we don’t like it, it serves no purpose getting upset over it. Sometimes we are just not in a position to change the things we would like to see change. That does not mean we will NEVER be in that position. Just not NOW.
This may not seem all that amazing an idea to some. Some may not even see the difference. But to me this is the difference between sunset and sunrise. Instead of viewing great obstacles as entering into a dark period of my life … entering into the night … I now recognize it is just the dawning of a new day. I often say “Nothing is impossible! The ‘impossible’ just takes a little longer.” I even used the phrase in a recent writing challenge. I now find myself truly believing it in the very core of me.
All it takes is a little acceptance.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]