Here’s a quote that can raise your ire when doing mental training.
“In so far as one denies what is, one is possessed by what is not, the compulsions, the fantasies, the terrors that flock to fill the void.” –Ursula K. Le Guin
Is acceptance essential for mental training or a copout?
I think one of the most misunderstood aspects of mental training is that it’s essential to accept situations as they are. Many people interpret this acceptance as resignation, or giving up on improving your circumstances. This is a misunderstanding.
Acceptance is not only important for taking risks, it’s absolutely necessary for taking them effectively. If you deny what is, as Le Guin states, you’re living in a fantasy world, full of imaginations (terrors) that fill your awareness. You need to see reality clearly. Acceptance is the way to do this. To accept things exactly as they are gives you the clarity to see reality. How could it not do that? From that clarity, you can then take effective actions. Prior to that acceptance, you’re resisting, complaining, or fighting against how life is. That is a losing proposition. The reality of life will win that fight.
To put acceptance in perspective, note that it’s part of preparation.
Accepting situations as they are helps you prepare your plan for action. This creates a plan that is as accurate as possible, for a starting point for action. Then, when you take action, you’ll apply your plan and modify it as needed.
You can both accept situations as they are and take actions to move those situations forward toward goals you set for yourself. This week, discern acceptance carefully.