Last month I joined the Abundant Mama Peace Circle (I made this move after a long period of resistance based on my feeling of not quite fitting in there). Each month we have a new theme to focus on in the journey to becoming a more peaceful and productive mama. This month’s theme is acceptance (last month’s was being awake). Each month I have this moment of viewing the theme through the dark colored lenses of negativity.
For example, this month I’m cruising along thinking about all of the things I need to accept in my life, focusing on letting go, jotting little mantras in my journal, until I find myself writing: “Accept what it is; It is meant to be.” Suddenly the brakes in my head are screeching loudly. Imagine if Elizabeth Cady Stanton had lived by that idea? What about Rosa Parks or Malala Yousafzai? Acceptance in this sense equals blind submission and the perpetuation of societal injustice. If we accept things as how they are supposed to be, then change doesn’t occur.
I fully realize that not accepting segregation or the degradation of women is completely different from accepting that the house might not look perfect or that our partner doesn’t load the dishwasher the same way that we do. I also know that the goal of the peace circle is to focus on the latter.
Ultimately, like everything in life acceptance is about balance. Yes, I need to accept that Dawn is different than I am and does things differently. No, I don’t need to accept the current administration. Yes, I need to accept that I submitted an imperfect piece of writing to a contest. No, I don’t need to accept the current toxic climate at my place of work. And so on.
How one actually achieves this kind of balance in life between caring deeply and accepting what is, I don’t fully know. I think this is the kind of thing that activists deal with on the regular. They have to maintain sanity while fighting the good fight, and balancing acceptance with movements for change is one way to do that. It’s really freakin’ hard though, and I guess we just have to accept that fact.