How to get better at acceptance

Practice? Practise?

I don’t know about you but it’s one of those spellings I really have to think about, like ‘effect’ and ‘affect’.

But even when you come down firmly on the side of one (practice, say) there may still be more than one way of looking at it.

As a verb, it can either mean ‘to do or perform often, customarily, or habitually’ – as in ‘practice politeness’.

Alternatively its definition can be ‘to perform or work at repeatedly so as to become proficient’ – as in ‘practice the act’.

This is a slightly roundabout way of introducing the concept of us having much to gain when we ‘practice acceptance’, the idea that it is generally self-defeating to try and change those things we stand no hope of influencing.


Now, in its original form, I suspect the version of ‘practice’ which was meant was the ‘customarily or habitually’ one, but in a neat semantic twist, maybe it’s also handy to think about the other one – working repeatedly at acceptance so we become better at it?

I suspect that you can’t go from accepting nothing to accepting it all overnight. I’m sure that just like all change, progress will be slow and steady.

But any progress is progress, and every journey can be thought of as a series of steps.

So could it be that the best way to practice acceptance is to practice, every day?

2 thoughts on “How to get better at acceptance

  1. I’m ‘in recovery’, and acceptance/powerlessness idea is central to that in my experience.

    Acceptance doesn’t mean I am giving in, it’s purely acknowledging that I cannot change situations or people (and changing them to my way of thinking, naturally). Grasping (and living) that idea is not a negative thing, in fact, it’s absolutely liberating.

    Say this out loud: “how dare they think that about me?” How ridiculous does that sound? But how many resentments did I have purely because I thought that way?

  2. Pedant Alert! Pedant Alert!

    Um – it may be different in the States, but I understood the British convention that Practise is a verb, as in to practise scales, whereas Practice is a noun, as in a Doctors’ Practice. However, I have consulted the OED and find it singularly unhelpful in that both spellings seem to be used as verbs, so maybe it is just a matter of choice after all.

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