Many times, when we go through tough and painful situations, we find it hard to accept and even if we feel we have accepted the situation a lingering doubt remains in the mind — have I accepted or am I just consoling myself thinking that I have accepted it!
Consoling comes from the mind, you think that you are consoling yourself, you bring in the consolation. Acceptance is more about understanding your situation. When you understand, there is acceptance and it comes by itself — acceptance is a happening and consolation a doing.
When one is feeling miserable about life, one seeks a way out, and the easiest way is to find some theory to explain it — maybe past life karmas, something with which you try to find shelter. You think that maybe God is putting you in misery so that you can grow to face the challenge. You philosophize, try to find some explanation to rationalize the situation rather than accepting it and moving on.
Acceptance just looks at the miserable situation and the misery it has caused, it does not need an explanation, you just look at the fact and say, “It has happened”. There is no other answer, no explanation needs to be provided. Acceptance is like love — all that is beautiful is always like love. You cannot do anything about love. When it comes, it comes; and when it goes, it goes. Acceptance is like that!
Acceptance is a happening, like love, you are truly in the reality of the moment, you don’t look to the past, you don’t look to the future to find an explanation; you just look at the fact. You simply live the pain, face the miserable situation alone and move on.
When you look for an explanation, you end up telling yourself Jesus says this, Buddha says this and therefore I have to accept it. But this kind of acceptance is not out of your own experience, hence it is false. Only when one goes into the pain of a situation single-handed, alone, facing the situation as it is without any thought looking into it — then that will be acceptance. This will not be a consolation; you will feel great contentment. Suddenly you will realise that you can accept, but there is no cause to it.
When there is acceptance, no confusion would be possible, no worry would arise. Acceptance is the key to all change. Once you accept, you move on. You go with the flow of life — a happening, nothing else. You live that moment, face it and move. You don’t think of ifs and buts; neither do you dwell in the past and try to find excuses, you don’t think of what may or may not happen in the future — it is now, it is done, it is over — you move on. That is acceptance!