I want to talk a bit about the idea of ‘acceptance’.
This is one of those faddy, new-agey words. We’re told that to grow as spiritual beings we have to ‘practice acceptance.’
You’re car breaks down on the way to work. You need to practice acceptance.
You’re boss is a toxic nut-case… practice acceptance.
You are slowly going broke and you can’t put food on the table… practice acceptance.
Oh boy. What a dangerous idea.
I’m sure this idea had some currency before it was ripped out of whatever spiritual practice is used to be part of.
But the way people practice it in the west is just terrifying.
Because what we’re doing is just shrugging and giving up control of our lives. And when we hit something hard or uncomfortable, we just run away and stick our head under the covers and ‘practice acceptance’.
But what we’re really doing is escapism. We’re practicing avoidance and dressing it up as acceptance, and telling ourselves that our cowardice some how deserves some spiritual brownie points.
What a dangerous way to live.
Sure, you’re not completely in control of your life. It’s a dance between you and the universe… and you have to be ok with that.
But you were also given agency. You were given power. You were given free-will. These gifts we’re given to you so you could fulfil your part of the dance.
Just as the universe will bring colour to your life, so too will you bring your own unique colour to the universe. That’s what you’re here to do.
But that can only happen if you accept the responsibility you have been given – if you say, “yes, this is my life, and I accept responsibility for the shape it takes.”
And so if a situation is hard, if a relationship is uncomfortable, practice acceptance by accepting responsibility and then doing something about it.
Accept responsibility and take control of your life.
Do this, make this a regular practice, and I’ll give twenty spiritual brownie points.