Acceptance…but of what?


“But you need to learn how to accept things!” I said to my brother.

“Well then, if you accept it, you will never think of improving. You will stay where you are!” was his reply.

“No it’s not like that, you change thereafter, but first you accept.” I spoke, but this time with a low confident.

“Well, that is contradicting in itself. How can you say you are accepting something first and then work on changing it. If you have accepted, you can’t change and if you try to change you have not yet accepted the situation” was his last and final reply.

After this I could not argue further and ended the conversation.This is one of the hottest topic that pops up for discussion when I sit to discuss the aspects of spirituality with my dear brother!


Almost every spiritual material I came across emphasized on the concept of accepting things as they are. After having numerous discussions with friends and family member I dived deep in many books and also introspected to find out the essence of the idea of ‘ACCEPTANCE’.

This is what I came up with.

What does acceptance ‘NOT’ mean!

  • Acceptance does not mean ‘inaction’.
  • Acceptance does not mean you don’t do anything about the situation.
  • Acceptance does not mean you keep on tolerating whatever is happening.


“Acceptance is the road to all change”

Bryant McGill

Acceptance means to accept the EXISTENCE of the situation, not the situation itself. This will pave the way for “What next?” in your mind.

Let us understand this by a very simple example:-

You have a flight at 9:00 pm and you wish to reach the airport by 7:30 pm. The distance from your home to airport is 30 minutes. You booked a cab through an App for 6:55 p.m.. The cab doesn’t show up. You make a call to the driver and he tells you he will be there in 10 minutes. You are assured to hear that he is going to be there in 10 minutes. After a few minutes, the app indicates that your ride has been cancelled. You try to book another ride but due to some error, it is not possible. It is past 7:05 while you are dealing with all this mess. Now, the acceptance part jumps in.

If your thought goes in such a way that, why did the driver behaved like this, why did the ride get cancelled, why did this happen to me? Will you be able to take any further action to reach the airport? You will get stuck on, ‘Why did this happen to me?

On the other hand if you have accepted the existence of the situation, the thought process will be something like this, “Okay, cab can’t be booked through the app at this point of time and it’s too late, what other options do I have?”

This was the simplest example. Every now and then in our life, we face situations wherein our EXPECTATIONS of the situation and the REALITY won’t match.

Most of the times we are fighting against the situation with questions in mind like, “Why did this happen to me?” or “Why do all the wrong things happen to me?” or “I never expected anything like this to happen.”

Next time you face something unexpected, remember this….

Accept the “EXISTENCE” of the situation & not the situation itself. This will give you the space to improve the situation!



Photo by Jordan McDonald on Unsplash