Acceptance is Rebellious

I recently drove to a business conference in New York City with a good friend and colleague. On the ride he told me how hard it is for him to accept the behavior of one of his siblings towards their elderly mother. We got into a  somewhat heated conversation about the whole concept of acceptance. The situation just aggravated him no end. He just couldn't get how first accepting what is with his family could potentially lead to either conscious transformation within him or even the remote possibility of a change in his sibling's behavior. You may think "acceptance" is the antithesis of anything rebellious. What I have learned that nothing can be changed until we accept the reality of what is.  In other words, if we are sick , we can't get well unless we accept the reality of our disease and do what is necessary to get healthy. This is one of the primary principles of the recovery movement. The addict can not recover until he or she accepts the fact that they are addicted.

In truth, rebellion is all about affecting change. Often that change is an internal shift in consciousness that can potentially lead to a societal transformation. First we accept the issue that needs to be addressed and then we go about a strategy to change what can be changed.

Life is unpredictable that we do know. Change is uncomfortable, we often avoid it until it hits us hard over the head. We fight and resist the unavoidable need to make a change instead of accepting the fact we must do it. Truth is it's the resistance that makes the change event so stressful. If we accept the reality of any situation in our lives that must be transformed , we can then go about the process in a calmer state of mind.

Life inevitably will bring us many challenges like a loved one passing away. It's very difficult to embrace the challenges when we are feeling intense sorrow and wishing those things never occurred.  If we make a decision now to embrace acceptance in our lives, we may cope with future crises from a different perspective.

To quote Arthur Rubinstein: "Of course there is no formula for success except, perhaps an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings."