I’ve been thinking a lot about acceptance lately. In the Elizabeth Kuebler Ross grief model, acceptance is the final step (the other four are denial, anger, bargaining and depression.) And make no mistake, we are all grieving right now.

The kind of acceptance I’m working on has more to do with radical acceptance, a concept that rests on the idea that we need to let go of the illusion of control and instead notice and accept things as they are right now, without judgment. A tall order during these challenging times, but I find that the more I wish things were different and the more I resent this (hopefully temporary) new normal, the worse I feel.

It’s not easy to do. More than anything, I want my old life back. But as we get deeper and deeper into this mess, and as it’s becoming pretty obvious that life may never return to a pre-COVID normal, it’s time to find more sustainable ways of dealing with what is.

I like the Longfellow quote because it perfectly illustrates the idea of acceptance. After all, even in a time when everything seems to be debatable, nobody is going to argue that we can change the weather!

The basic steps of radical acceptance

  1. “It should not be this way.” Observe that you are fighting reality.
  2. “This is what happened.” Remind yourself that you cannot change reality.
  3. “This is how things happened.” Acknowledge that there were events and factors that lead to this outcome. Think about how others are also affected by it.
  4. Accept yourself as you are and the feelings you have.
  5. Practice opposite action by listing how you would act if you already accepted these facts. Now engage in those behaviors you listed.
  6. Allow yourself to truly feel your emotions and attend to those body sensations.
  7. Acknowledge that life goes on and it is still worth living even with the current situation.
  8. If you find yourself still resisting acceptance, make a pros and cons list of what would happen if you continue to stay in these beliefs.

Source: Radical Acceptance During a Pandemic

contribute banner ad

14 Comments on Sunday Quotes: Acceptance

  1. Wise advice my non-human cat friend. Let it rain till it pours cats and dogs, ‘It’s raining cats and dogs, wow!’ This is what we all need to do when we see what”s happening, just
    think positive and hope and pray that all ends soon in a good way. Cats have more sense
    than us humans!

  2. This is a wonderful article. Important things for all of us to review and consider. Let me just say, in my opinion, the world has changed forever. We all need to find a way to accept that the pre-COVID “normal” is gone, never to return. Technology, and social media, is a blessing and a curse as the world continues to define what can be expected as “normal” in the future.

  3. Thanks Ingrid for the great article which gives lots of very helpful tools for us to work with during this time. I absolutely feel we all need to take the necessary precautions like wearing masks, physically distancing and practicing good hand sanitation. I think most of us are, but unfortunately there are plenty who aren’t who gather in large crowds and ignore all they should be doing to help stem this virus. That seems like an extremely cavalier attitude and I guess some will never learn that they need to do their part. I do honestly believe that this isn’t the new normal but it is the way it is right now and I feel this will change ultimately and we will be back to what we have always known as normal. So as far as acceptance, I am accepting the precautions I need to take right now for what seems to be normal at this point in time but I am very hopeful and fairly certain that this will subside eventually to a degree that will allow us to resume life as we’ve always known it. They are working on a vaccine and always learning more about how the virus works so I feel there is going to be change in the direction we have always been accustomed to.

    • I haven’t completely given up hope that things will go back to what we knew as normal, which is why I try to remember to call this our “temporary” new normal!

  4. Thanks for this very insightful and helpful post, Ingrid. I’m going to share it with my friends/ family. I, too, don’t believe things will go back to what they were before. I think many people, including myself somewhat, are in the anger and denial stage, Hence the defiance in the very simple request to wear masks and to physical distance. Every weekend, here in my ‘hood, since Memorial Day, there is a house that has a big party. They go on into the night. While it makes me feel good and wistful to hear people having a good time, I shudder to think of the amount of virus being passed. At the beginning of July my county had around 30 cases of C-19, now it is almost 170. We are very rural, but live near a huge lake, which brings in outsiders for boating, fishing, etc. I am appalled at the total lack of precautions people are taking. And that’s where my anger comes in, I guess. Anyway, this article has helped me let go of some of that already. Thank you, and be safe!

    • One of my friends think that COVID isn’t real. She went to the beach which is where a lot of people are getting COVID from. Then she went to a party. I fear she and her step daughter which are both my friends may have COVID and they don’t know if yet.

  5. I think Janine is totally correct. There are a lot of “new” things right now that I believe will become the new normal. When I see the daily statistics of how many people have caught COVID and how many have died, my heart hurts for the families. In addition, the number of businesses closing means a huge loss of jobs. School starting frightens me too. Accepting all of these fears is difficult. I wish people would accept the fact that this is now the new normal and embrace masks and social distancing. That’s the only way we can keep the numbers down.

  6. I think you are right, things will never go back to how they used to be. we are already seeing restaurants and stores closing down. Those are all lost jobs and some of the places can be our favorites. I would hate to not be able to go into our vet clinics with our furkids too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.