I’ll start by saying the name of this post is a lie. Acceptance isn’t the key to happiness, because there is no key to happiness. There’s no magic wand to wave and sprinkle some fuckin pixie dust and you’re all smiles forever. There’s no happiness cheat code.
What there is is strategies; actions and plans that help you along the path to happiness. Acceptance is a big one. As you learn to accept the reality of the situations you find yourself in, you’ll find it more and more difficult to be vexed by them.
A lot of people mistake acceptance for being supportive of your situation. This is completely incorrect. Accepting a situation is only a recognition of what’s happening. We tend to push away shit we don’t like, and all too often that means ignoring key aspects of difficulties we face. We ignore uncomfortable challenges to the point that they destroy us and the things around us, just to avoid facing it, as per the “this is fine” dog.
A much simpler and more effective strategy is acceptance. It’s only when you recognize and accept what’s happening that you can begin to make a difference. If you don’t take control of your situation, your situation will just run it’s own course. Very rarely will that be in a way you actually like.
I hate uncomfortable shit. I hate being in situations that are confrontational, or that are bound to have bad outcomes. Yet never once have I been able to ignore a bad situation and have it resolve itself nicely. That’s not real life. That’s not how things happen.
A lot of this goes hand in hand with what I call toxic positivity, or false positivity. This is the neatly packaged positive affirmation lifestyle that you see on Instagram. This is the idea people pitch of how if you just focus on the good, then good things will happen. I’m not going to discount the power of positive thinking, but I do want to dispel the concept that bad things won’t happen if you think positively.
The truth is, bad shit still happens and you have to deal with it. The first major step in that is acceptance. Learn to accept what’s happening, and you’ll be able to make decisions in a responsible way.
I can and will continue to talk about acceptance in the future, but right now I have a little boy who wants to hang out with his dad. Check this video out for more of my opinions on acceptance.