Acceptance Doesn’t Mean Agreement

A fair amount of people are uncomfortable with the topic of acceptance. This is because the idea of acceptance gets wrapped up in another complicated idea – agreement. While acceptance might lead to agreement, the two concepts are quite different. Acceptance is the opposite of denial and self-motivated blindness. It’s taking on the reality of the world and one’s personal life as objectively as possible – warts and all. Acceptance is planting oneself in reality, as it is, without condition. It is a stance of willingness as opposed to willfulness.

Once rooted in reality, once you actively push back against denial, only then does the world open up. Possibilities reveal themselves. Sure, we have our reasons to use denial. It’s the most common self-defense mechanism to pain. There’s no short supply of pain in life. But, denial takes you out of the world and lands you in a distorted house of mirrors. Being more in touch with reality might be painful. It might even be the last thing you want to do. Yet, it is the best way to protect yourself, collect all the facts, and really see where you are going.

While acceptance is taking reality as it is, agreeing with it, or not, is the next step. While acceptance is a science, agreement and disagreement certainly aren’t. These two choices are a moral act in response to acceptance. For whatever reason, the world lined up the way it did. Past actions and events have set the nonnegotiable rules to the game of life. What has happened “must” have happen given all that has come before. God and fate have confronted us and there is no re-do. How we move forward from that place is with agreement and disagreement. They are the tools we use to choose how to respond to the world.

Yonasan Bender, SW graduated from Hebrew University’s School of Social Work. He has his psychotherapy practice at The Place: The Jerusalem Centre for Emotional Wellbeing. To share your thoughts, experiences, questions, or a different perspective, you can reach Yonasan Bender at 053-808-0435 or email him by clicking HERE. To learn more about him and his work, click HERE.

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The Place is where therapists, individuals and the community connect to create safety, strength and success. At The Place, men and women discover the freedom and safety to move past those issues which are preventing them from living life to its fullest. Our goal is to help each of our clients discover his or her own strengths as powerful tools in the healing process.

The Place is a multi-faceted clinic offering both individual and group therapy, support groups, interactive evenings and lectures, educational classes, and drop-in hours. Our comfortable, confidential, relaxed environment allows clients and their families to explore sensitive issues and create positive change. We believe that the key to mental health and emotional well-being is inside you.

At The Place, male and female therapists work independently or as a team to explore sensitive issues and facilitate positive change for individuals, couples and families from all sectors of the community. Some of our specialties include emotional eating, grief counseling, internet addiction, phobias, anxiety & OCD, childhood challenges, premarital counseling, couples therapy and intimacy issues, postpartum support, personality disorders, psychiatric care, and more. Connect with a caring professional in person at our comfortable Jerusalem offices, or by video, phone, and text. We’re here for you.

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