Slice of Sunshine: Acceptance is an Option

I don’t like giving up.  

Some people call me “competitive,” although I prefer the more nuanced labels “determined” or “ambitious.” (To me, competitive is linked with both aggression and I win/you lose, which is NOT what I am about.)
But it is true, I have often demonstrated that I am willing to keep driving forward when I feel strongly about something in pursuit of the “win” or whatever it is I want or believe should happen.

Sometimes this is helpful.

And sometimes not.

I will work hard—very, very hard—before I surrender. Fatigue may set in, tinged with resentment (if there are others involved), but the fight instinct stays strong.

I am reminded of the Monty Python and the Holy Grail scene where the Black Knight is gradually sliced down to just a head and torso, taunting the whole time: “‘Tis but a scratch…It’s just a flesh wound…I’m invincible…”

During those focus-only-on-the-goal windows I, too, often neglect to consider what I may be losing as I keep pushing: connection, ease, a sense of the larger picture. I think only about what I want to achieve in that moment and may not track the wider repercussions.


When despite all of the pushing I still don’t get the results I am hoping for, it turns out there’s an option besides continuing to fight.

Sepia toned photograph with two open hands, palms facing up, with the word "acceptance" below.
Open hands, inviting it all in.


It turns out that not everything can be “won.” Acceptance means moving past our own ego, expectations, and wants, and into awareness, gratitude, reception and humility.

Intertwined with acceptance is the idea of surrender, which is part of the reason I never saw it as an option before.

Acceptance creates space where previously there was constriction, and instead of tension, there can be relief.
It is also one of the 8 Pillars of Joy (see below) and I certainly believe that joy > struggle.
When the outcome is either beyond our control, or the “collateral damage” becomes too great, acceptance may be the best—and, in truth, the only—option.

Try It!

8 Pillars of Joy

Photo credits: Pavel Nekoranec, Kyle Johnson, Charles Deluvio, Billy Pasco, Kelly Sikkema, Austin Schmid, Khadeeja Yasser, Elaine Casap

blast from the past

“Despite our ongoing striving to find achievement and make sure our lives have meaning, we are likely missing the point if we do not recognize that the road we are on and therefore every step we take is actually what we are here to do.” —Slice of Sunshine, November 1, 2021


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Try it!