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28/12/2009

Acceptance is the key to change

(NaturalNews) Most are familiar with the Serenity Prayer of Alcoholics Anonymous, presumably written by Reinhold Niebuhr in the mid twentieth century. Shortly after the adoption of the Serenity Prayer, another important observation was brought to light. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross developed the understanding of the grief process in her work On Death and Dying toward the latter half of the century. Dr. Kubler-Ross spelled out the five stages which occur during the process of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. In fact, these stages occur during any change which is unwelcome. The person going through this process is already experiencing change. Acceptance is an integral part of this process.

No significant change takes place apart from Acceptance...

Upon consideration, one may think that it would be unhealthy to go around accepting everything. Indeed, some situations require change by definition. However, this judgment is based upon a misperception of Acceptance. The fact is, no significant, progressive change can take place without Acceptance. Any change that is forced, manipulated or otherwise conjured up in the absence of true Acceptance may only be partial and temporary, and often creates more Negativity. Positive change requires complete recognition of Truth and one`s necessary response in order to have complete effect.

Acceptance is not acquiescence; it goes hand in hand with Courage...

The reason Acceptance is a Virtue is because it requires daily application. If one reacts from the experiences of the past, he may be doomed to repeat its failures. If one attempts to force change, or becomes anxious regarding the future, Negative Energy will ensue. Acceptance takes life as it is right now. It does not resist consequences, outcomes or results from the past. However, it does acknowledge alterations that need to be made, ownership that needs to be taken.

Acceptance is more akin to facing Truth than it is to tolerating an unpleasant reality. It is Acceptance`s relationship with Truth that provides the necessary impetus for change. It is also this relationship which requires the virtue Courage in order to effect the necessary change.

For example, one who is in an abusive relationship must accept the truth that her life is possibly in danger. However, this is only one aspect of Truth. Another aspect of Truth may be the victim`s own contribution to her situation as the result of upbringing and a co-dependency on the abuser. The continued practice of Acceptance will lead to Serenity. One will soon realize that the art of living is not so much about figuring out what to do as it is in accepting life's situations and one's own resources and in embracing Courage in order to move forward.

Absence of Acceptance creates complexity and anxiety...

Change that is produced by force or manipulation and is based on deception or misperception will produce negative results. Many of the technological advances we have made are now producing negative consequences. Our foods no longer have the necessary nutrients we need to remain healthy. Children do not spend enough time outside and consequently have a deficit in vitamin D resulting in obesity, depression and a host of other illnesses. Unwillingness to embrace simplicity opens the door to Negativity.

More often than not, the solution to our problems is to apply Acceptance and embrace the simple, complete Truth. Wisdom often comes once Acceptance has been fully embraced. It is then that Courage may be needed to address the obvious.

References:
The Serenity Prayer
Elizabeth Kubler Ross Foundation
Acceptance, the Virtue

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