Recently, we explored acceptance as a strength and some questions around its application at school, work and community. Now, before anything else, I invite you to engage this video activity. Be warned of language. It is not intended to offend, but to demonstrate a point.
Words have less power than the tone of the words; their intention. I can say hello with love or hate. Words are symbols and we apply meaning to them; not unlike the swastika that was once a sign of auspiciousness and now we know it for something else. It is the energy behind the words. The emotional energy of this video above is one of acceptance; regardless of the words. Acceptance is a virtue, universal and independent of simple matters of language.
This is not to say that words cannot hurt. They can, if both intended and received in the spirit of hurt. What we intend to deliver is part of that process. What we accept to receive is too. I have long believed and said that “just because someone thinks we are stupid does not make it so. It just means that they are not yet brilliant enough to see our own brilliance”. I am not trying to be smug or cliche here. But Eleanor Roosevelt said it well…
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
… and that…
Only a man’s character is the real criterion of worth.
Where do you make your stand?
Acceptance is a virtue; a strength of character. It is universally accessible too. But the real and true question is not whether to choose to practice it or not… but to choose what we will accept. There are things we must accept. Then there are things we choose to accept. The choice of accepting is powerful. If we accept our lot or the opinions of others then we make powerful choices to yield our thoughts to others. Sitting on a Hugh Culver organized conference call with Michael Port today, Michael noted that unsolicited opinion is not required to be taken. When we ask for it, we are demonstrating a willingness to consider and possibly accept it. That is our choice.
… and here is your challenge for this weekend, or whenever.
FIRST, make a conscious list of things, the givens and facts, that you simply must accept. Accept them. Accept their reality.
SECOND… Then make a conscious list of those situations you have a choice to accept. Accept where you are with each and accept that you have the power to make a difference in staying there.
FINALLY, identify one thing around which you have the power to choose and decide:
- what you need to accept about the situation as it is currently; there is your starting point…
- what you need to do to accept your responsibility for making changes to address the situation…
- what consistent actions you will accept to take on it doing so, and what you will not; and…
- to accept your decision to take action, by taking the action and being willing to see where it takes you.
As I continue my own deliberate work back from the stroke, and making real and strong progress, this activity has powerful resonance for my work, service and life this year and going forward. I hope it resonates for you too.
Acceptance brings serenity but serenity is not surrender. It is freedom, to lose the stuff we cannot change and choose the stuff we can. What will be your choice this weekend? Get specific and focused on what you most need to accept, and move forward practicing that strength at school, work or community.
And for more help with acceptance, try that mediation again maybe. 🙂
Peace, passion and prosperity.
Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™
A song about choice and what we accept…. I Dare You to watch and listen.
A little rockier version, with lyrics.