Don’t worry, we are not looking for marriage proposals this week, we are going to learn all about acceptance. I imagine your eyes rolled then, but before you close the web page on this site I want you to understand that the simple act of self-acceptance is way more important in peoples lives than you might think. Acceptance in human psychology is a person’s assent to the reality of a situation, recognizing a process or condition (often a negative or uncomfortable situation) without attempting to change it or protest it. The concept is close in meaning to acquiescence, derived from the Latin acquiēscere (to find rest in). The more you learn to rest inside a world full of acceptance the better your life will be…
I promise you, that I do understand that some people think all this ‘acceptance’ and ‘well-being’ stuff is a little bit pointless, but there really is a massive point to them, especially when you suffer from BPD. A lot of the darkness of BPD comes from all the self-hate and past regrets people have in life (most of the time for good reasons), but you can’t go back in time to fix things, you can’t learn to forget about them because your mind will replay them over and over again. When you start to realise that the only path left to take is the path of acceptance it should make the walk through life a little easier.
To ‘accept’ something is not to forget it, not to justify it, not even to accept that what happened happened. It is just to acknowledge that something bad or negative happened. I accept that I was late to my job, I accept that the course work set for me is harder than normal, I accept that I beat myself up all day long because of my BPD. When used in the right way acceptance can be a powerful, life-changing tool that you will use on a daily basis.
If it is ‘low self-acceptance’ that results from or causes mental health illness then it only stands to reason that higher self-acceptance can counteract that. Remember last week when we talked about how not sharing our feelings and emotions results in us not getting validated in feeling them? Well, that is also part of acceptance! Acceptance of oneself and one’s reality are essential building blocks of many therapy recovery programs. There is freedom and happiness to be found in accepting however you feel at any given moment. You thrive and move forward with the moment if you wholeheartedly accept the way you are.
This Week’s Homework: I know this has been a tough week, so no homework this week. Just try and put into practice what you have learned today. Notice your feelings, not react to them and let the bad ones wash over you like water over a pebble. Yes, you might feel sad about something, a memory or an error you have made, but feeling sad isn’t going to change what happened, but accepting it and trying to be a better “you” is something that can happen if you are willing to work on it.