#Askingforafriend: Active acceptance

By Nate Bowman
GCU Office of Student Care
#Askingforafriend

Well, here we are. It has been well more than a month since stay-at-home orders were issued and terms like social distancing, quarantine and PPE waltzed right into our everyday conversations.

Now, as the days turn into weeks, questions and theories about life in a post COVID-19 world are almost as widespread as the virus itself.

Is the elbow bump the handshake of the future?

Will the extrovert and the introvert ever meet in the same row on an airplane again?

While awaiting our mobile order food delivery, will we reminisce about the days of old when waiters and waitresses would sing whimsical variations of happy birthday to us in those places called restaurants?

To tell you the truth, I don’t know. But the longer this goes on, the more I notice this deep craving for things to settle down. And the longer that craving goes unsatisfied, the hungrier I become. It’s uncomfortable.

So is there anything we can do to satisfy this craving? Because if you’re anything like me, I’m not exactly in top form when I’m hungry.

I wish I could tell you to download such-and-such an app, place an order, and a friendly face would bring exactly what you need to your front door. We’re accustomed to that. But things are different right now, just as the practice that has been helping me cope with some of the discomfort surrounding our current circumstances is different.

It’s called active acceptance.

Active acceptance is the process of changing our relationship to our circumstances and subsequently engaging with the people and things that matter to us.

For example, it would be easy for me to judge this global pandemic as bad, negative and terrible, right? But when I assume this kind of relationship with my circumstances, it tends to lead me down a path of hopelessness and despair.

The alternative — judging the global pandemic as good, positive and right — certainly isn’t the approach I want to take, either. That is precisely where active acceptance can help.

Active acceptance invites us to forgo judgment of our circumstances and objectively look at things just as they are. From there we can respond to our circumstances in ways that are wise and that add value to our lives, such as going for a hike or hosting a video scavenger hunt with friends.

To be clear, active acceptance does not mean you have to like living in a global pandemic or resign yourself to a “who cares” mentality.

With some practice, active acceptance actually can be very empowering and get you back on the road to practicing those global pandemic self-care tips you’ve been reading about — all without being derailed by cravings such as, “Hurry up and end so I can get back to my life, global pandemic.”

Life is still going. Cravings will ebb and flow, and we will continue to encounter uncomfortable and uncontrollable circumstances. But when we are willing to actively accept them without judgment, our relationship to them changes. In that moment, we are empowered to choose how we will respond.

I, for one, choose to take up a popular burrito chain on all their free delivery offers!

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Bible Verse

Daniel replied, "No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries." (Daniel 2:27-28)

To Read More: www.verseoftheday.com/