1. To receive with favour, willingness or consent. 2. To give an affirmative answer to. 3. To receive as satisfactory or sufficent: to accept an apology. 4. To take with good grace; submit to: to accept the inevitable. [From the Latin acceptare and often accipere, which mean "to take": ad- to + capere to take] -- Funk & Wagnall's Canadian College Dictionary
On the other hand, the verb "accept" carries some energy with it. This is something I can do, even if it's hard or unwelcome to think about. Since I believe in taking positive action to help myself and others, I switched to the verb form of the word. As I've said before, sometimes doing anything is better than doing nothing.
Acceptance is the result of taking the action to accept, so it makes more sense to me to begin at the beginning.
When something is going wrong or unwelcome news comes, most people's first defense is to feel shock or surprise and a sense of unreality: This can't be happening! As time goes along, the change usually starts to feel less surprising, even if it's still unwelcome. There are no absolute reactions or order in which they come, but many people do feel angry, frustrated, sad, confused and/or unwilling to accept the change. These reactions to change and stress can last minutes, days, weeks or longer. Everyone is different.
What is similar about us, though, is that we all have a choice about accepting the change that's been dumped on us. As you read in the definition above, to accept refers to many related actions:
- To receive with favour, willingness or consent.
- To give an affirmative answer to.
- To receive as satisfactory or sufficent
- To take with good grace
- This is really hard, and it's a good idea to allow myself to feel all my feelings. BUT I am willing (even the smallest amount) to receive this change, to stop rejecting it and everything connected to it. I don't have to like it, but it doesn't help me to dwell on my anger and resentment, either.
- I will open my heart, mind and hands as far as I can to see where I can say "Yes" in this situation.
- This is what it is, and I can't change it. But I can change me and my response to this challenge.
- There is so much in this situation that I can't control. BUT if I look, I will find something I can do something about.
- What have I (or others) done in the past to handle tough circumstances? Maybe I'll try one or two of those things now. When one thing doesn't work, I can' always try something different.
- Life happens to everybody, and it isn't always fun or terrible. It just is.