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Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Anatomy of Acceptance

By Mohamed Farouk

Acceptance, The Vague Word!!
Sometimes the only solution to a problem is to accept it; for example, when the problem is the loss of someone, goals that weren't met or finding that your loved one is in love with someone else, then the only thing that can be done is acceptance.

But the problem with acceptance is that whenever you read an article about it, it keeps telling you about the importance of acceptance and how nice acceptance is but not how to do it.

We all know that acceptance can sometimes be the only solution to a problem, but still the question is how to accept? Is there a certain thing that I should do to accept a new situation faster?

There are many tips that can help you in doing this, but I have hidden them somewhere safe, about 3cm below the line you are reading now :)

A Guide to Acceptance
The main obstacle that will stand in your way when trying to accept a new situation is uncertainty. Uncertainty is simple not being sure that what you are currently facing is the truth. For example, if you bought some stocks at $10 each, and if their price went down to 5$, you may become sad or even depressed, but at the same time you won't be able to accept it. Why? Because you are still unsure whether the price will go up again or whether it will stay at the $5 level. So the conclusion is: as long as there is still the smallest sliver of hope left, you won't be able to accept the new situation.

Here are a few examples that will further demonstrate the idea:

* She is in love with someone else: It feels so bad when you discover that your loved one is in love with someone else, but even after this discovery you will usually find yourself unable to accept the situation, simply because you still don't have enough evidence to prove it. At the same time, your mind will be striving to convince you that there is still some hope.

* I don't look like a super model: People who think that they should look better are usually struggling with an endless cycle of thoughts: each new comment they receive about their looks makes them repeat their calculations and repeat the same cyle of critical thoughts about themselves. If those people were certain about their looks, good or bad, they wouldnt have felt that bad.

* Is he dead?: I really feel sorry for anyone who loses someone close, and when the shock becomes intolerable some people start to deny that this death has happened and get stuck in uncertainties instead of accepting the truth.

It's the Uncertainty that Makes You Feel Bad!
Suppose that you had an emergency and had to run down the street in your pyjamas. If someone tells you "Man, you look awful! How can you dress like that in the street?", do you think that this situation will make you feel bad? Definitely not. Do you know why? Because you were certain that you were wearing something that looks bad in the first place, so it's natural that that be people's reaction.

Now, what if you were normally dressed and the same person told you the same thing, will you feel bad? Of course you will, but why? Because you are wearing something that should look good by itself, you became uncertain about your own looks!!!!

We can conclude something very critical from this story: knowing that you are bad is less painful than being unsure that you are bad!!! In other words, it's the uncertainty that makes you feel bad.

What to Do
Simply remove the uncertainty: find the evidence that proves that this situation is actually a new fact. Of course I am not telling you to give up so early or to admit defeat, but when you are sure that it's over, let go of your inner resistance and of this tiny hope because you know that it's not realistic. When you do this, your mind will accept what happened and it will signal for the healing process to start.

Don't Get Stuck
One of the main reasons for depression is getting stuck in a state of denial. In that case, the problem remains and the ability to accept it is hindered by this denial which will eventually lead to depression. What you need to do is to accept what happened and you'll find that you are no longer depressed and since you now know what acceptance means and how to do it, that should be no problem anymore.

2knowmyself is not a simple article website nor it's a place where you will find shallow fixes, but it's a place where you will find effective techniques that are backed by psychology and that are presented in an obvious and understandable format. If you think that this is some kind of marketing hype then check http://www.2knowmyself.com and you will see it yourself.

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