I'm writing two of these blogs in one day (woooooooooohooooooo motivation!) but I'll try my best to make sure that they're up to their usual "quality." So for Day 4 (my rewind #BlogElul): Accept.
Acceptance is not necessarily the easiest word/feeling to come by.
A few months ago, I was asked to sit with students at a Shabbat dinner (acceptance, a step forward!) and we were discussing the differences in the type of people that we deal with on a regular basis. There is a definite difference in lifestyle/attitude in Oregon than I'm used to on the West Coast. I found out that people on the West Coast find that residents of the East Coast can be rude (and they took it a step further to compare it to people on the East Coast finding that people in Israel can be rude!). I had to accept that my personality/humor/way of thinking had to adjust slightly to enjoy life in Oregon.
We have to remember that acceptance is both external and internal. We hope that others will accept us for who we are and for what we have to offer, but we must push ourselves to remember to accept others for who they are and for what they have to offer. We have to push ourselves to accept what's happening in our daily lives, positive and negative both.
There's obviously a reason that the serenity prayer begins with "G-d, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change." Acceptance is not an easy trait in most of us who believe that we have the power to create our own course, to drive our own destiny. In my opinion, attempting to accept, to be accepting is a way of thinking deeper--understanding the situation, the person, the happening that challenges you beyond what you thought you could handle.
Acceptance implies a difficulty, allows us to imagine that we must strengthen ourselves to be up to the challenge. Most of the time we will be, sometimes we won't. And we have to accept that--that there will be situations that we will fight, that we will change, that we will push to its limits and that there will be times where that is the right thing to do. There will also be times where we will have to sit back and accept what comes to us, and then (hopefully!) make positive choices from that point on.