There is a lot of confusion surrounding the term acceptance but I think what often seems like an even greater challenge is how do we bring acceptance into a full circle, how do we move from acceptance toward positive change?
The first half of the circle is about what acceptance itself really means
Acceptance is not a passive submission to adversity and negativity, and it does not mean putting up with whatever unkind thing is being said and done. Accepting, may it be someone else's behavior, a challenge, or a situation, means recognizing reality. It means to clearly see what is going on. It is about naming the challenge, being aware of the problem, the challenge, or the issue. Acceptance is about taking the initiative of practicing mindfulness by bringing your awareness into the present moment. It is not about liking what is being said or done. It is not about condoning bad behavior or negotiating your values.
Acceptance is the point where you allow yourself to step away from the notions of how things "should" or "shouldn't" be and you arrive at the point of identifying what is.
The second half of completing the circle is action
Here you are putting your energy toward a solution! It is an important step away from being problem focused toward becoming solution focused. Here you are saying "I get it...this is what I am dealing with...NOW how can I get to a better place with this? What can I do about this?" Sometimes we can't change anything about the situation itself - but what we can change is how we are dealing with it, how we are managing what has been handed to us.
You are at the point now where you are tapping into your strengths and your resources and you are exploring your options toward change - internally or externally.
Bringing acceptance into full circle:
Acceptance is your choice put into action
If you are by now hearing that inner voice that is telling you "Well that's easier said than done" - take a deep breath and then tell yourself "So what?!! Everything is easier said than done. Doesn't mean I can't or won't do it!" Take it one breath at the time! And remember, you are important - you ARE worth all the efforts in the world to make you happy and fulfilled.