Acceptance is the action of receiving or undertaking something which is offered without the need for judgement, it’s the process of fact or receiving something as adequate valid or suitable. It’s a management process and a series of steps that need to be taken, to remove the need for alteration when the alteration is not required or possible. It’s the opposite of non-acceptance and it allows us to see and accept the reality of our own emotions or the emotions of another. Acceptance removes our frustrations when the world around us doesn’t quite seem to meet our expectations. Acceptance is to recognise another way of being without bending our purpose or beliefs, as we should also not try to bend the belief of another. Without compromising just who we are and neither should we expect that from another don’t we each walk our path?
The essential element of a valid acceptance can only ever be unconditional and absolute without conditions, we have to alter our thinking with regards to situations as being good or bad because they simply are. We need to see them as such if we are ever going to be clear within the management of our thought process. Acceptance of yourself or others doesn’t imply that you are either weak or giving up without any achievement. Acceptance whether we connect with it within our spoken words or our actions will never be effective until it is communicated from within and heartfelt. Acceptance removes that negative clouded emotion of needing to feel that we are right or another is wrong never bending with the wind, that emotion has no place within acceptance and it will never allow forward movement.
The description I have given above is the acceptance which relates between the interaction of two people, but there is a much larger implication within that description when we have to accept the past the present and we still fear the future.
For a child abuse recovering adult acceptance was something that they had to practise often as children, they had little choice other than to do so if abuse came visiting daily. I’m sure that if we were to pick at this word others may resonate far more with another but the wording matters not. When that child is within a place where there is nowhere to go and if they could do so there would be no one who would take them what else was there? Acceptance was the only thing left indeed at that time anything would have been better than nothing. Every adult child abuse survivor given time can find that place of deep tranquillity within, where acceptance is achieved, even within the depravity of the past where they were immorally condemned within its torture. Not an easy task for sure and that should never be said lightly, but the strength required in which to do so is already proven in their survival.
Acceptance from within will never mean accepting outwardly that an abuser had a rite of passage in which to abuse, in truth, it no longer concerns that abuser in the here and now it’s about finding that peace within. Acceptance will never mean that the past can be altered, unfortunately, that is here to stay. But at least within acceptance, it enables the ability to regain that long lost command of the past and its effect upon them in adulthood. Quite simply, by addressing that emotion they are no longer allowing that said abuse to have a permanent hold upon their future. Acceptance of the past makes it possible to begin to extinguish that burning pain within, but make no mistake, that is so very far removed from the acceptance of abuse or the absolution of those who choose to abuse.
Acceptance will never be reached until a place is found where self-blame no longer exists and we truly understand that emotion is misplaced. Until we let go of anger hatred sadness and guilt, not to forget the misplaced shame, abuse still holds on to the future. Whilst holding on to that relentless self-questioning of why me? and the ensemble of questions in the queue just waiting at the rear, we are forever stuck because these questions can never be answered. Unfortunately, we can never make those questions magically disappear, but what is possible is the removal of the urgent need to look for the answers where quite simple there aren’t any. Even if that were possible the questioning would become elongated and without peace.
But what is possible is to find a place whereon revisiting the abuse it will be within acceptance and where those all-consuming questions will no longer dominate above all else. Within that acceptance, regardless of the painful abusive past, they will find a place where there is a choice and they decide just what happens next. Choices are not always of our own making and for sure every choice with regards to the past was never their own. Emotional acceptance is thus a far better strategy than avoidance or holding on to those painful memories within non-acceptance. Within the ability to accept those horrendous experiences of child abuse, there comes a time of acknowledgement and power that’s absolute.
Child abuse survivors could never hope to reach a place within acceptance where they can forget their abuse, but neither should acceptance if found be seen as forgiveness, they have just reached the point of holding. Acceptance doesn’t mean that the abuse is minimised or the significance of the scar placed within is no longer felt. But resistance towards acceptance will forever leave us within non-acceptance, which will never bring light because by its very nature it’s a dark place to be within. When acceptance is approached with openness and fluidity and without expectation, we can stand in awe at the power of that movement. Acceptance doesn’t mean that we agree, and overly more, acceptance doesn’t mean that something is either right or wrong. It’s the realisation that we can’t change that in which is behind us and the recognition that life is still out there in front of us. No matter the past, when we accept and decide to live that life it’s a huge change of direction. They say that what we can’t accept we have to endure, well, it’s long past time to endure any further.
Acceptance may not always be what we think it is and it may just change a life……