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Acceptance, in spirituality, mindfulness, and human psychology, usually refers to the experience of a situation without an intention to change that situation. Acceptance does not require that change is possible or even conceivable, nor does it require that the situation be desired or approved by those accepting it. Indeed, acceptance is often suggested when a situation is both disliked and unchangeable, or when change may be possible only at great cost or risk. Acceptance may imply only a lack of outward, behavioral attempts at possible change, but the word is also used more specifically for a felt or hypothesized cognitive or emotional state. Thus someone may decide to take no action against a situation and yet be said to have not accepted it.
Acceptance is contrasted with resistance, but that term has strong political and psychoanalytic connotations not applicable in many contexts. Acceptance is sometimes used with notions of willingness: "Even if an unchosen, undesired, inescapable situation befalls me, I can still willingly choose to accept it."
By groups and by individuals, acceptance can be of various events and conditions in the world; individuals may also accept elements of their own thoughts, feelings, and personal histories. For example, psychotherapeutic treatment of a person with depression or anxiety could involve fostering acceptance either for whatever personal circumstances may give rise to those feelings or for the feelings themselves. (Psychotherapy could also involve lessening an individual's acceptance of various situations.)
Notions of acceptance are prominent in many faiths and meditation practices. For example, Buddhism's first noble truth, "Life is suffering", invites people to accept that suffering is a natural part of life.
Minority groups in society often describe their goal as "acceptance", wherein the majority will not challenge the minority's full participation in society. A majority may be said (at best) to "tolerate" minorities when it confines their participation to certain aspects of society.
References & Bibliography
- Acceptance Quotations
- Acceptance Quotes
- Famous Quotations and Sayings on Acceptance
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
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