Every human being has some qualities which may be perceived as flaws. Most of us try to stay away from any kind of introspection in order to stay in the dark about what limitations we have. Some people who do like to understand what is wrong with them end up over thinking about it at times. It is common human nature and it is something that is not exactly an advantage or disadvantage. It is something which is just there. I have many flaws. Over the past 2 years many of them have come to the fore and I have now gotten the opportunity to work on these flaws and be a better person. The thing I want to talk about is acceptance. Acceptance of your flaws, acceptance of the times you failed and acceptance of all your short comings.
Acceptance is something which comes in difficulty. Sometimes we are just not willing to accept something and move on from it. It is the 5th and final step in the various stages of grief and it is the most important one as well. It took me about 18 months to accept that I was sick. What I was going through was because of something wrong in my physiology which lead to everything going wrong and not the other way around. It was comforting when I accepted that at last but there was still that lingering thought about what I could have done to get better before this. There are many occasions in life when we just have to accept something; whether it is losing someone close to us, something changing in our life, going through a sickness and many other situations. The worst thing about acceptance is that if someone needs to accept something, telling them to accept it may not be the best idea. We have to go through various emotions before we can accept the situation. These emotions may be guilt, anger, denial or depression. Telling someone to just accept something is the equivalent of telling someone to ‘get over’ depression. It is what the goal is, but it is really easier said than done.
Once I accepted that I was mentally sick, the next thing I had to accept was that I may have to change my career goals to ensure safe future mental health. I was pursuing MBBS but I knew that having to go through the 1st year for the third time in a row may have some detrimental effect on me. I had to try something new and I chose to study BA (H) in Applied Psychology. Now to any person I meet who knows me from the time I was studying MBBS; it becomes difficult to explain to them why I chose to pursue BA. The society sees it as a massive step down and I don’t really blame them for it either. I beat myself up almost daily about leaving MBBS and I always wonder whether it was the right choice or not. I feel ashamed of all the things I did while sick but at least now I accept that that happened because of a disease rather than me. There will always be that hint of regret about what things could have been, what I wanted them to be and what they should be, but that is where acceptance comes in. This is why it is so important to accept something. Sometimes acceptance is mistaken for settling for failure. It is right to say in some situations but more often than not, it is acknowledging that you failed and that you have room for improvement. It is acknowledging that things didn’t work out the way you wanted them to but it does not mean the end of the world.
The truth is, we are all going to fail at something in our life. It is what makes us human. Right now, people try to ignore failures and focus only on the successes but that isn’t a very healthy thing to do in the long term. You will need to accept the fact that you failed and then look back at everything that happened and what you can learn from it. Learning from failures is something that is not very common these days. Accepting failures and learning from them can only be good for you in the long race. It is not something to be ashamed of. Accept it.
In case you know someone who needs to or wants to accept something. DO NOT TELL THEM TO SIMPLY ACCEPT IT. Sit with them and try to understand what they are going through, try to listen. Most of the times, simply having your problems heard helps you accept them. It gives you the validation you need that your problems are real and you need to deal with them. So to sum up I would say that acceptance is not something that comes immediately but it is something which is necessary for every negative emotion. Tell someone about everything you are going through, listen to their opinions and slowly you will see that all the guilt you burdened yourself with has been lifted. Slowly, things will start looking brighter and better.