One expands your energy, the other puts a lid on it. Guess which is which.
I had a discussion with some friends yesterday about phrases we habitually use, whether they are thought connectors, or simply phrases that fill the space. Words like "right", or "like", or "exactly." A phrase that I have used and have started to use again is "it is what it is." I had even included it in an article a long time ago as an example of an equalizer in a difficult management moment, an momentary acceptance if you will.
But, now I realize it's more a phrase of resignation, of resigning to a less than ideal situation or circumstance. It has shifted my thinking about the notion of acceptance. The very synonyms of resignation say it all: acquiescence, conformity, long-suffering, uncomplainingness. That kind of makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time. Whereas to accept means to favor, to respect, to relish and admire or to come to terms with favorable reception and gratitude.
It's a very simple shift.
Resignation means staying in the struggle and feeling of lack. Acceptance means respecting what there is and working with it and beyond it with tolerance, respect and love. I don't mean to sound woo-woo here, but try it on for size.
It will make you think about aging, being in an unsatisfying work environment, not being where you "think" you should be at this stage in your life, body issues, and relationships in a whole new light.
George Orwell said, "Happiness can only exist in acceptance." Bravo.
I say, acceptance expands your energy, resignation puts a lid on it.
It no longer "is what it is." I'm taking the lid off.