Acceptance is an essential tool for a peaceful life; however acceptance occurs in stages.

If I keep running headfirst into a brick wall and it always bloodies my head, I can deny that I’m hitting the wall or deny that it’s hurting me (denying the fact of reality); but then, this leads to repeating the same action and suffering the same result. If I want to quit hurting, I face three levels of acceptance:

  1. Resistive acceptance: I understand that the reality does exist (I accept the fact of reality—it is what is); I bear up resignedly and believe that it’s wrong or unfair. (I don’t want that wall to be here; it’s not fair or right but if I want to stop hurting, I’d better quit running into it).
  2. Neutral acceptance: I am at peace with the facts; I cease struggling; although I still don’t like or appreciate what has happened, I calmly accept it and move forward with my life. (I don’t agree with this wall being there; I don’t like it or understand it, but it must serve some purpose; I cease giving it power to cause me emotional turmoil.
  3. Total acceptance: I enhance my understanding; something makes me see how the reality I face can actually benefit me and I start to appreciate it. (I had the opportunity to view what’s on the other side of the wall and it’s keeping a pride of lions from attacking me! I would be insane to tear it down. I’m grateful for that wall)

Prayer: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Take three relaxing breaths; ask your inner spirit to guide your meditation; reflect on the content, pausing for a few minutes in silence

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