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Why Acceptance Could Feel Like Resignation

Written by: Sophie Benbow, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Sophie Benbow

Acceptance of what is, is an essential step in being mindful and re-claiming who you are. Acceptance can be triggering for some; you may want to re-phrase it as acknowledgement if that is easier for you.

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Acceptance is tackling the discomfort you are feeling head on. It is very easy to ignore how you are truly feeling and let emotions build up. With acceptance you are facing your own truth in your current situation. When we do this, we give ourselves an opportunity to approach our discomfort with softness. Focusing on your breath in these times is useful and allows us to move closer to the discomfort and ease some of the pain.

Why can it be confused with resignation?

Acceptance is not giving up. Acceptance does not mean that you can’t change your current situation. It is the opportunity to acknowledge the here and now without judgment. It is a way of responding instead of reacting.

Resignation on the other hand is the belief that things will never change. It can give feelings of hopelessness and ‘what is the point?’ mentality. With resignation it is the refusal to feel the emotional pain you are enduring as it is a passive attitude. Resignation links to pessimism and cynicism with the belief that if you set your sights low you are less likely going to be disappointed. If you look up resignation in the dictionary it will say things like ‘a sad feeling of acceptance’, ‘the acceptance of despair’. Although acceptance is included in the definition it is the sadness and despair that accompanies resignation which makes it very different.

How can we overcome resignation and turn it into true acceptance?

With acceptance you don’t have to feel happy or overjoyed about your current situation. Maybe you do feel sad about it. Accepting it as a part of your journey without any resentment or wish that it be a different outcome is the key. You are no longer trying to change the situation and you have authentically come to terms with this reality. This gives you freedom to be vulnerable, to learn and grow, to know that things might change, and it sets you free from the suffering of negative thinking.

Acceptance can be a painful process and you might not be ready to accept right now. That’s ok, be open to the thought of acceptance in the future. It is common to go through judgment, resentment, frustration, hurt and many more negative feelings before you come out the other side and you can finally start accepting with love and non-judgment towards yourself. This is when you can feel content in the moment.

Over time when you have gone through enough pain maybe you can build your awareness around acceptance. Do you want to hold on to something for so long that it is holding you back, causing suffering and despair? Maybe it is time to acknowledge and accept. It’s important to note that you can’t force acceptance it is something that you get to over time. If it feels like you are forcing acceptance there is a high chance that it is resignation.

True acceptance feels loving even when times are hard. You can understand your emotions and let them be without trying to change or resist them. You are free from judgment of yourself, and others and you can honour yourself with love, gratitude, and acceptance regardless of the situation. Be willing to accept and it will align with your awareness.

Ways to accept

  • Practice Gratitude. Wake up in the morning and write down 5 things you are grateful for. Really think and reflect when you do this.

  • Write a list of the things you are having difficulty accepting and mark on a scale of 1-10 where you are at with accepting each item. Come back to this list every week.

  • Do the following breathing exercise:

    • Sit quietly and notice your surroundings.

    • Become present and take a few deep breaths in an out, do this slowly.

    • Notice where you are holding tension and direct loving kindness thoughts to relax those areas, repeat this for a few more breaths

    • Next as you are breathing in say to yourself ‘I accept my situation in a loving way.’ Repeat this exercise for 10 more breaths.

Examples of loving kindness thoughts could be:

  • May I be happy

  • May I be peaceful

  • May I be well

  • May I be free of pain

  • May I be free from harm

  • May I be free of suffering

Be kind to yourself, if you are not ready to accept your situation come back to it. Just know that you will be ready one day and acceptance will bring about so much freedom and self-love. This is an opportunity to re-program negative thought patterns and replace them with positive ones.

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Sophie Benbow Brainz Magazine

Sophie Benbow, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Sophie Benbow is a self-development coach, Mindfulness and Meditation teacher who holds various qualifications in Health & Fitness. She aims to guide you on a journey of self-love, healing and compassion. Head on over to her website to enquire about coaching, listen to her meditations and follow her social channels.



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