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The Power of Acceptance

2023-08-15 | 5 Mins Read

Perhaps the harshest part of our mortal existence is to have to witness and then later experience death. We may initially think that dying is probably the most painful thing one has to go through. However, as we grow older, we come to realise that the grief we experience after losing our loved ones is as, if not more, painful.

Often in our journey of grief, acceptance comes last. We go through the whole gamut of emotions from anger to depression to helplessness before we can accept our loss and come to terms with what has really happened. In fact, in the entire literary discourse about grief, acceptance is seen as something that must ultimately be achieved after navigating the dark and turbulent waters of anger and pain rather than something that comes first and can be used as a life-jacket as you swim through rage and depression. There is an understated power to simply accepting how destiny has chosen to unfold rather than insisting on fighting it. In fact, accepting the critical illness or death of a loved one can help heal your wounds faster and we’d like to shed some light on how~

1. Accepting Illness — When we know that a loved one is terminally ill and they have a limited amount of time left in this body, our knee-jerk reaction is to insist that they fight against all odds, look for all kinds of new treatments and medicines, and try to manifest a miracle. We spend so much of our time and energy trying to save them that we forget to make the most of the time we have remaining together. In fact, the most common yet deepest regret that people have about a loved one’s passing is that they did not get to say everything they wanted to to their loved one. By accepting a loved one’s illness, you’re not giving up all hope. You are simply prioritising their present over the idea of an extended future together. When you shift your energy from compulsively trying to manifest a miracle to simply praying for one, you leave more room and energy for yourself to focus on your loved one and cherish whatever time you have left together. In fact, when you say everything you’ve ever wanted to say to them and try to fulfil all their remaining dreams and wishes then you’re a little more at peace when they ultimately pass away because deep down, you know that you made the most of the time you had together.

2. Accepting Death — Sometimes, a loved one passes away suddenly and we are not prepared to lose them. In such cases, acceptance often comes much later and in our state of numbness and denial, we often miss our chance to bid farewell to them in the manner we wanted to. As hard as it is, the truth is that the sooner we accept the certainty of death, the easier it becomes for us to fully mourn our loved ones and gain some semblance of closure. Instead of denying that they are physically not with us anymore, we can fondly remember and cherish the time when they were and be extremely grateful for that. By accepting their death, we can at least acknowledge that they lived a full life and celebrate that by holding their last rite services in the manner they would have wanted. Furthermore, we can also focus on honouring their legacy and ensuring their name lives on by setting up charities or doing other social service acts that were closest to their heart.

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3. Accepting Grief – A lot of us mistakenly think that acceptance is something we achieve after we go through our personal process of grieving. However, just like death is a part of life rather than being the end or opposite of it, acceptance is also a part of grief rather than being the mere end or opposite of it. When we lose a loved one, it is but natural to go through a multitude of emotions like anger, pain, grief, and numbness. However, accepting these emotions instead of fighting or suppressing them allows you to fully pass through them rather than getting stuck in them. When we don’t accept our grief or anger, we postpone our emotional journeys and also go through them more intensely. The more you simply accept your emotions, the easier and less intense it will be for you to navigate through them.

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4. The Power of Acceptance on Others – Just as a drop of honey sweetens the entire cup of water, our power of acceptance also spreads to our near and dear ones. When we accept our emotions and process them so openly and honestly, it gives those around us the courage to do so as well. Furthermore, it is believed that a departed soul only transitions to its next life after ensuring that its loved ones are doing alright. So the more we accept our loved one’s illness or death, the more at peace they will be during their passing and will allow their soul to transition more easily into whatever awaits them.

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