There is a difference between acceptance and resignation. Acceptance leads to peace. Resignation to bitterness. How can I tell the difference?
Resignation is gritting my teeth, balling my fists, and shoving them in my pockets. It’s boding my time until the thing changes, until the people move away, or until I just give up. Resignation says Screw it. What’s the use anyhow? Why does this always happen to me?
Resignation taps me on my shoulder at 2 a.m. and says: Wake up, hun. We gotta talk. When I resign myself to some person, place or thing, some condition of my life, I become depressed. Depression is anger turned inward.
The difference between acceptance and resignation is the vast distance between forgive and forget, and forgive but always remember what the hell they did to you.
I can’t accept something that I won’t truly let go of, but I can resign myself to it. It begins with disappointment and unfulfilled expectation, but ends in resentment and bitterness. To resign myself to something is to bind myself to it. It follows me around like my shadow. It is my shadow. I subtly resist. It stubbornly persists. Be careful what you fight. You’ll get more of it.
To accept, on the other hand, is to release. It’s not to hold off and hold on ’til times are better. It’s to let go of right now. It’s not to keep at arm’s length, but to embrace. It’s not to lock my door against, but to invite in, to discover what my problems have to tell me, to teach me, to whisper gently to me in my darkest moments. It is to allow whatever is to move through me like a wind slips through the branches of a winter tree. It is to offer no resistance, to get out of my own damned way, and not to take anything all that seriously.
When I do this, my problems cease being problems. I stop seeing them as burdens. I carry them differently. It’s only then that I can know that everything which happens, happens for a reason. And that in the end all reasons work in my favor. It’s to realize that if something hasn’t worked out, it’s only because it hasn’t worked out yet. If I realize that a lot of what happens around me isn’t happening to me, and that it isn’t really any of my business anyway, I’ll be a lot happier. Or at least at peace.
If I give my problems enough time, they’ll usually work themselves out. The wind always stops blowing.