The complexity of acceptance



Acceptance is very comparable to a flower, a growth process.

Jada Sandvall, Feature Editor

Although it is something I could talk about for hours, acceptance has always been a weird concept to me growing up. While acceptance can be both positive and negative, accepting different conditions can be uncomfortable and at times, very overwhelming. In positive situations, it takes different energy and feelings than accepting a negative situation. However, whether positive or negative, acceptance can be different for everyone every day.

Over the past three years, accepting the way my life is versus how it was, has become harder and harder. With loss, heartbreak and overall stimulation, the voices I used to push aside come back screaming louder and louder every single day. Reflecting on the reality of life, I have never actually accepted myself. Being on this earth for 17 years, I have found that every day, a new form of personalized acceptance arises.

With my recent neverending health problems came several doctor’s appointments. As a junior, you would think I would be capable of answering simple questions about how my body is feeling without my parents being present; however, legally, that is obviously not possible. On this one random Friday, the lengthy young woman asked me a question that would seem simple to most but was extremely complex for me. “Is it okay if I call your mom to make sure she’s okay with you being treated today?” My mom has been dead for a year and four months so you may see my dilemma here. Although this innocent lady meant no harm, the stinging sensation that flowed through my veins never gets old; the sensation of acceptance.

In hopes to escape from my awkward encounters and random realizations, I turn to books and journals to immerse myself in words. Reading others’ words and writing my feelings down allows me to see them on paper and reflect later on down the road. At times, I can simply look back and laugh. Laugh not only because of a silly joke but because of how stuck I was on a simplistic idea at that point in life. However, there are always chapters I cannot seem to find the end to. Not because it is not over, but because once I have finally reached the idea of acceptance, there should feel like there should be an incentive for it. You know, for all the nights I spent lying awake asking when it would get better, for the mornings I could not find the energy to get out of bed and my favorite, for the people I pushed away because of my uncomfortable state of acceptance. 

However, this idea of acceptance will not come immediately. It takes time, uncomfortable situations and overall, playing the waiting game—although torturous enough. Some days, I push the overwhelming feelings to the side because I am simply deadbeat tired. Mentally and physically I am drained and more exhausted than I have ever been, but I keep going. And for who? The ones that matter most, family and friends. For what? For that triumphant feeling of acceptance. The feeling of overcoming the voices in your head that tell me to give up. The feeling of finally beating the battle I have been wrestling with for however long. Acceptance is always the goal when going through battles whether they be public or not. 

 At times, I feel disassociated from the world we live in and lost with myself and my thoughts. However, not everybody processes acceptance like this. In some cases, acceptance is seen as a positive and light situation with beautiful colors and songs. In others, it is the opposite. The process of acceptance is a process of countless emotions and situations that one may never understand. At the end of the day, what really matters is the way we react to those moments. In other words, treat people with kindness, not just your best friend or coworker but everyone, even those who have wronged you. You never know what moment with someone could be your last. Make it count.