Accepting things the way they are, people the way they are and the way they aren't, is the key to happiness.
But, as I am finding out, there is a confusion about what acceptance means.
For it to be clear, we need to first look at resistance.
Resistance is a knee-jerk reaction when you don't want something. It is hard-wired in humans, for the past about 200,000 years.
It's all resistance. Fast, and "normal", although it is not serving you, maybe ever.
Non-resistance is counter-intuitive.
We talk about intuition as if we knew what we are talking about... but consider that we are using the word wrong... Intuition is what comes to you from all-of-it, but resistance comes from the psychological genes of your Neanderthal DNA.
Non-resistance is intelligent.
When you resist, you fail to use your brain for thinking, evaluating, planning, for being intelligent.
Most things that happen to us pass fast and without harming us, UNLESS WE RESIST THEM.
Thoughts come and go, emotions, feelings, weather, come and go.
But we fixate them, make them stay, by our resistance.
It hurts us, physically, and it hurts us socially, financially, emotionally, in every way.
It's possible to not like something and not resist it. It is possible to not like someone and not resist them. It is possible to even hate something and not resist it...
Acceptance is peaceful co-existence. Allow it to be exactly the way they are and exactly the way they aren't.
No need to change it or them: it is temporary.
If you resist it, if you go stiff... And if you go limp? Then you stop being cause in your life.
The art is to find the golden middle: not stiff, not limp... allowing. Consciously, graciously, knowing that the nature of things is to change: come and go at their own time.
You can love something: accept it the way it is. You can love someone: accept the way they are.
A "friend" of mine has been practicing loving, as a feeling. It isn't going too well. People say stupid things, people smell funny, people contradict him... so feeling love is not easy, mostly not possible.
But he could accept people and not resist them... and there would be love.
Love is accepting another exactly the way they are and exactly the way they aren't... instead of resisting how they are and wishing they were different.
Counter intuitive, but it works. Makes life workable, makes your life easy, and makes you happy... to the degree you can be counter intuitive and stop resisting.