Acceptance in human psychology is a person’s assent to the reality of a situation, recognising a process or condition without attempting to change it or protest it. The concept is close in meaning to acquiescence, derived from the Latin acquiēscere.
The language of tolerance bothers me. Who wants to be tolerated? Who wants to be endured? We can tolerate things and actions we do not like, but it is a cold action to be applied to a human being.
Yes we need to be tolerant as individuals, but surely we want our society, our communities, to be more than that?
We all want to be accepted. We all want to be seen, to be heard, to be valued. We all want to belong.
“You don’t need someone to complete you.
You need someone to accept you, completely”.
Being accepted is liberating. Being accepted is a validation. Being accepted is both an action and a process which we grow, learn and are nourished from.
Accepting others is a gift. Acceptance is a transaction – an act of giving and receiving to ourselves and others.
Self-acceptance is a practice we need to develop. A deep understanding of our inner selves, a recognition of our strengths and weaknesses, enables us to give ourselves permission to just be.
“Acceptance makes an incredible fertile soil for the seeds of change”.
Acceptance preserves time, energy and resources. When we refuse to accept something, our reserves are depleted as there is a cost of emotional labour. Being intolerant of others, disliking something or someone, refusing to accept an idea or a person, is a waste of energy.
The quicker we can acknowledge it, reframe our thinking about it, the swifter we can move on to change and grow.
“We cannot change anything unless we accept it”.
Acceptance is a value we have needed to exercise a lot over the last 2 months. We have had to learn to accept a loss of control, to accept a disruption to our world, to accept changes to daily existences. Those who accepted these adjustments found peace quicker.
We have learnt to navigate a new way of being. We have accepted the ‘new normal’. We have wrestled with the new boundaries and the revised expectations of the constantly changing goal posts. The waves have kept coming and the storm is yet to pass.
“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf”.
Yet, there are somethings we should not accept. There are some things we need to challenge. Codes of conduct, protocols, non-negotiables and lines in the sand should not be contravened, violated nor undermined.
There has been unacceptable behaviour, unacceptable decision-making, unacceptable communications.
So, how much should we be accepting right now? What should we be challenging and pushing back on? What should we be refusing to accept from the moral high ground?
There is a fear that we perhaps become too accepting…