“Some lose all mind and become soul, insane. Some lose all soul and become mind, intellectual. Some lose both and become accepted ― Charles Bukowski
This is the sixth of the seven attitudes that Jon-Kabat-Zinn believes are the basis for Mindfulness.
So what on earth is the idea of Acceptance?
Definition: Simply put, coming to terms with things as they are.
Some of the key things you can try include:
- Seeing things as they actually are in the present. If you have a headache, accept you have a headache.
- We often waste a lot of time and energy denying what is fact. We are trying to force situations to how we would like them to be. This creates more tension and prevents positive change occurring.
- Now is the only time we have for anything. You have to accept yourself as you are before you can really change.
- Acceptance is not passive; it does not mean you have to like everything and abandon your principles and values. It does not mean you have to be resigned to tolerating things. It does not mean that you should stop trying to break free of your own self-destructive habits or give up your desire to change and grow.
- Acceptance is a willingness to see things as they are. You are much more likely to know what to do and have an inner conviction to act when you have a clear picture of what is actually happening.
Practising non-striving leads us directly to the next attitudinal quality of mindfulness which is acceptance. Sometimes we confuse acceptance with approval or resignation.
Accepting something means seeing things as they are right now. It doesn’t mean we aren’t going to do something about it. See if there is something you feel challenged to accept, and what resisting it feels like.
Does it help? Does it make you feel stuck? Just notice. The attitude of acceptance can have a quality of compassion and understanding to it. These qualities actually make it easier to change something. I once heard someone say with regard to weight loss, “No one ever changed by hating themselves into it.” When I reflected on this statement, I found it to be true for myself. See what is true for you with respect to acceptance.
The video where Jon describes the Acceptance attitude can be viewed here:
I leave you with the following quote.