Each year I like to contemplate and give purpose to the year with one specific word. As the new year approached, it became increasingly difficult for me to choose one. What an interesting year we have just experienced: Socially, economically and certainly politically. Personally, I have had some tremendous changes, challenges and personal growth. Words I’ve used in the past are abundance; passion; joy; all of which seemed to come so easily. Yet the New Year came, and still, no word. Tonight, on January 3rd, as I took some personal time for myself, it hit me: Acceptance. I don’t mean to use it as a means of complacency or an attempt to stop forward movement on any given matter. Rather, I mean for it to be used as a means for internal and external peace, love and appreciation.
Imagine if we all accepted each other for who we are as individuals. That each one of us has skills, talents, habits, beliefs, quirks, thoughts, feelings, attitudes, etc, that are absolutely perfect for each one of us. That regardless of the color of our skin, the religion we practice, the personal choices we make, the life partner we have, the ‘fill in the blank’, we are perfect. We are as we should be and where we are supposed to be. We are each here to experience life in our own way, to navigate the waters and learn in our own time and in our own way whatever it is we are supposed to learn and experience in the time we are here. We are not here to tell others how to live or how to act or what to believe. We are here to honor each other, including ourselves, by living each day to the best we possibly can within our own belief system.
By ‘acceptance’ I mean for us to accept our current life situation. Not to succumb to it, but yet to accept that we are where we are for a reason. That all that we have done up to now has brought us to this point. That it is what it is. We can either deny it or accept it. We can now choose whatever course of action is necessary to move in the direction we wish to go or to simply embrace where we are at this moment. We have the power within us to create a different set of circumstances, if and when we choose. To learn from what we have already experienced and then to use that knowledge to create more of what we want. Remember: we will continue to be served the lesson until we have learned it.
And lastly, imagine if we accepted ourselves for who we are. Imagine if we had unconditional love, appreciation and acceptance for ourselves. To accept our shortcomings (which, who is to say they are shortcomings anyway? Other people’s opinions have tainted our opinions of ourselves and therefore, we believe we have shortcomings. However, if we are perfect just the way we are, then we must be balanced and all that we are is good and as it should be.) So then let’s accept all aspects of ourselves and to love all of who we are. And if we wish to be other than what we are then it is up to us to make the shift, all the while accepting that it is a process and we are good regardless.
This might be a lot to contemplate, yet imagine if we all did just that. If we all took a look at ourselves and really accepted who we are, just as we are, then might we have a better acceptance of others? We then would be without judgment, which is simply our expression that someone or something else does not agree with our belief system and therefore, that person or thing must change to fit into our mold of what we believe. What right do we have to impose that onto someone else? If we are perfect as we are, then aren’t others perfect as they are?
It seems to me that, by accepting ourselves, accepting our circumstances, accepting others for who they are, and accepting what is taking place in our world in this moment, that we could then look at these matters with love and appreciation for all that is. We could look at life objectively and then make a conscious choice of how to move forward. What might our lives look like if each day we gave this word some conscious thought and chose to apply it to the events that took place for us, the people that crossed our path, and the internal dialogues that pop up for us?
I am choosing to take on this challenge and to contemplate how accepting I am of myself and the world around me. I plan to write the word ‘acceptance’ down and post it in several places so that I may be reminded of it throughout the day. I find as I write this that by giving so much thought to this subject, I feel a calm wash through me, a sense of peace. I have found when I am conscious of the word ‘acceptance’, when I am accepting of myself and my surroundings at the time I am happier and more relaxed. I would like more of that. Therefore, I feel embracing the word ‘acceptance’ is the perfect way to start off the new year. I think we all could use a little more acceptance. Don’t you?