Acceptance is sitting on your deck looking up at the night sky and watching the moon rise. As the world changes in front of your eyes, there is no resistance, no anger, no opposition. Perhaps you prefer fewer clouds or a different moon phase, but you’re forced to accept the view as it is because you have no control.
Although this form of acceptance is easy to come to terms with, we often struggle with relinquishing control and finding peace in our own daily lives.
There is freedom in living with uncertainty. By accepting that we can’t and shouldn’t try to change things beyond our control, we begin a process of accepting our past, the unknown, and even our own flaws. While we can’t change who we are or what we have experienced, by finding acceptance, wecan change our future for the better and for the healthier.
We’ve all heard the cliché that we can not truly love someone until we love ourselves, and there is truth in every cliché. Much of our ability to love ourselves comes from practicing acceptance, and allowing ourselves to have imperfections, flaws, and quirks. In turn, this same practice teaches us to become more accepting of others, and to love them better and more completely.
We find this message of acceptance and peace throughout The Bible as well.
Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. - 1 Peter 5:7
You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. - Psalm 56:8
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. - Matthew 6:25
Acceptance helps us in so many ways, from managing anxiety and stress, to loving others more completely, and earning peace in our own lives.
Here is a prayer to remind us that we are not alone in not understanding why things happen the way they do. Memorize this prayer and pray it out every time a negative thought creeps into your mind.
Lord of the Highest Heavens, please allow me to have acceptance of all things in my life and give my heart a peace that passes all understanding. Help me to love myself as You love me. In Jesus' name, I pray Amen.
While acceptance encourages peace and forgiveness, it does not mean resigning from our goals and from life. Rather, we must find acceptance in our struggle and in our journey. This ability to accept life’s ups and downs enables us to find happiness along whatever path God has planned for us.
When we encounter those negative moments in the news, in traffic, or wherever they may be in life, we must ask ourselves… “Is there something I can do differently to change these circumstances?” Oftentimes, we then realize that our only real power lies in prayer and in acceptance.
I admit, accept, and yield. I can't control people, plans, or all of my circumstances, but I can surrender those things to you, and focus on you, your goodness. I trust in you Lord, and I thank you for carrying this burden for me. I trust in your guidance Lord and know that with you all things are possible.
So how do we find this inner peace? Practice. We must work at it regularly, and realize that we may never fully perfect it. Personally, I find that reciting the prayer above whenever I begin to experience doubt, frustration, or unhappiness is the reminder that I need to seek out acceptance.
Here is another prayer for difficult times:
Heavenly Father, we bless you for our lives, we give you praise for your abundant mercy and grace we receive. We thank you for your faithfulness. Lord Jesus, we ask you to give us peace in our mind, body, soul, and spirit. We ask that you help us to heal and remove everything that causes stress, grief, and sorrow in our lives.
Remember these prayers, and remember the power of acceptance. By being purposeful about what we allow to trouble our minds, we can better enjoy life and alleviate the stresses and anxiety we experience. Acceptance also allows us to love others more completely, despite imperfections, which strengthens bonds and the depths of our love. With practice we can learn to feel peace even in the most difficult and trying circumstances, knowing that we must only trust in God to guide us forward.
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