‘Acceptance without submission’ is a meaningful exercise that requires a certain dose of humility. This may be important in every domain of life.
“Change what you cannot accept. Accept what you cannot change.”
This well-known saying seems to put acceptance and change in competition to each other.
However, acceptance may go together with trying to change. Why not?
For instance, I can accept that I cannot change the earth’s climate for the better. But I can still want to contribute at the very small level, and deem this worthwhile. And if I ever get into a position where I can do more, I will.
So, I accept it and still I try to make a change.
As for now, I humbly accept my incapacity to achieve much in this domain. I do so while not submitting myself to it. This humble non-submission makes me feel empowered even without having the concrete power at this moment. Yet there is no pretension, no putting my head into the sand. I am empowered to strive for many things even if I can only accomplish a few.
Humility is needed to be able to accept without submission. Contrary to this, without humility, one may even feel enforced to submit without accepting to do so.
The humility at play is that of an ego, not that of a total person.
So, I accept what I apparently cannot change, but I don’t accept it by submission.
For instance, an obese person may have the choice either to fight his obesity, or to accept it. But we know that fighting obesity, such as through dieting, almost never works at long term. At the other hand, submitting to the idea of being an obese person most probably also makes things worse.
So, either using willpower to fight obesity, or not using willpower at all, the obese will always stay obese?
It seems like a riddle.
Actually I just gave the answer. The obese person should accept his condition, because that is reality – his starting point towards change. He should accept his condition of obesity and he should accept his desire to change. His acceptance should not be a submission to his present obese state.
This goes counter to the frequently heard admonition to not see oneself as ‘an obese person’ for fear that one would thus imprison oneself in the very same idea. Well: if it’s reality, it’s just reality. And that’s no other than the starting point for changing that reality.
Through accepting it while not submitting to it.
An obese person should feel empowered to change even before the change occurs.
An important aspect of that empowerment is his acceptance of the present obesity.
Contrary to many theories of change, he should even feel himself very much OK as he is. On this solid ground, durable change can happen. Sadly, it’s not what many obese people do. They either submit or fight. In both cases, the obese reality is ‘the enemy’.
AURELIS is quite different.
Acceptance is important. Accepting reality. Then, evolving from that reality towards another, ‘better’ – and equally accepted – reality.
You see: in this setting the new reality is also not one of submission (to an ideal of slimness for instance that may be not according to how one feels inside).
No fight against anything. No submission.
This may be relevant for any kind of addiction and even any domain of life.