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Acceptance of What Is: 17 Things to Accept in Life

Rachel Sharpe

In life, we need to have an acceptance of what is. It can be hard to let go of the past, and accept whatever event happens to us. The more we fight instead of having an acceptance of what is, the more likely we are to suffer and experience pain. Life will always throw curve balls that we can’t prepare for or anticipate. So, in this article, we’re going to share 17 things to accept in life so you can mentally train yourself to be more resilient and present.

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Acceptance: 17 Things to Accept In Life

1. Yourself

Having an acceptance of yourself is important for your happiness. We often beat ourselves up based on hurtful exchanges we have with others. Our inner critic takes negative feedback and spirals it out of control, making us feel worse about ourselves. However, you’re the only you to ever exist. You bring something to the universe no one else can bring. The experiences that shaped you, the personality you have, and the insights you share with others in this time frame all play a role in the universe. 

We could tweak and change ourselves in infinite ways. However, when you look at who you are at its core, there’s no one quite like you. And that’s exactly what the world needs. Accept yourself as you are and play a role in shaping the world. Follow along to this acceptance meditation to help you accept yourself and your life.

2. Things always change

The acceptance of what is boils down to the fact that things always change. Life is all about impermanence. If we compare the world today to the world twenty years ago, we’ll see that so much has changed. Today, people go on a social media detox to take mental breaks from social media. However, twenty years ago social media was still quite new and small. In our lifetimes, we’ve been through the stages of grief as we lose loved ones, experience traumas, and go through never-ending changes. If there’s one thing you need to accept in life is that nothing stays the same. 

3. You’ll always get older

While movies like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button give us the opportunity to imagine a world where we age backwards, the reality is that today we don’t. We only get older. Your 30s aren’t the new 20s. You can’t relive an experience just because it wasn’t positive. Acceptance of what is is all about acknowledging that you only live once and time is always running out. Instead of living in the past or the future, you need to live in the present. Do the things you want to do while you can do them. Be more accepting of the aging process instead of trying to look, act, and live like a younger version of yourself who didn’t realize what they had when they had it. 

acceptance of what is

4. You’ll lose people

Acceptance is all about the realization that in life you’re going to lose people. You’ll lose romantic partners, friends, and even family members. While people will always leave you at one point or another, it’s still important to notice that people will come into your life unexpectedly as well. You can’t hang onto the memory of people your whole life. Instead, while people are alive, let them know how you appreciate them. Be vocal in why you love them and what you value about them. Praise your friends and family when they’re around. Hug people. Kiss people. High-five them too! You never know when your last day with somebody will be. It can be a very unexpected experience. 

5. There’s no order 

One of the biggest challenges of acceptance of what is, is to realize that there’s no such thing as order. Life is chaotic, disorganized, and random. You can’t plan the order of how things will work out in life. You could be planning to quit your job and get laid off unexpectedly the next day. Some parents bury their young children who die suddenly from cancer or other terminal illnesses. No matter how badly we want there to be an order for how things roll out in life, it just doesn’t work out that way. Accept that there’s no order and you’ll be on track to finding inner peace in the chaos. 

accept things in life

6. You aren’t your thoughts

You are not your thoughts. Thoughts surface into your mind without your control and no effort. Unfortunately, when a thought arises that is unpleasant, we often believe it and identify with it. However, we shouldn’t. That’s not us. Our brain has a mind of its own. The main goal of the brain is to keep you alive for as long as possible. So, you might have thoughts that are intended to keep you socially part of the group, to keep you physically alive, and to promote self-improvement. However, you can pick and choose which thoughts you listen to, so choose wisely. 

7. You can’t control people

A life lesson to accept is that you can’t control people. While we try to influence our children and romantic partners, the reality is that we should just let them be. Trying to make someone else more like us defeats their uniqueness and will create a rebellion. While it can be frustrating to watch people do the polar opposite of what we would do, we need to understand that everyone has a different path in life. The goal of your path isn’t to make people like you, your life is much bigger than that. Accept that people will sometimes do things differently than you. People will like things you hate. That’s okay. That’s diversity.


8. Your family

You can choose your friends but you can’t choose your bloodline. Your family is given to you when you’re born into this world, for better or worse. You can’t change your parents, siblings, or any other relatives. While you might not like certain family members, you can’t change your relationship to them. You’ll always be related. While it can be hard for us to admit, you can’t choose your family. Sometimes, certain family members are toxic people and we want them out of our lives. But at the end of the day, they’re still family. 

9. The weather

One of the things to be more accepting of is the weather. Women all over the world pray that it doesn’t rain on their wedding day, and it does anyways. People hope that climate change won’t happen, but the climate has always changed. Natural disasters strike at the worst times and cause the utmost chaos in our lives. Snow storms knock out power lines on the day of an important meeting. Ultimately, acceptance of the weather is crucial in life. The change of the seasons is a constant and a reminder that we don’t control this planet. Mother Nature does. 

accept the weather

10. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed

We all set goals and plans for the future. We hold off on setting goals until a new year presents itself. Always putting everything off until tomorrow. Unfortunately, even though we’ve survived every yesterday so far, tomorrow still isn’t guaranteed. Just as there’s no order in life, there’s no guarantee of how much time you have. Not even the rest of the day is guaranteed. Now, we don’t mean to frighten you, because you probably will still be alive tomorrow. However, do the things that are important to you right now. Plan for now – this present moment

11. The past is over

The past only comes to life in our thoughts. However, if we stop thinking about a specific event, it immediately dies. The past is behind you. It’s unchangeable. All you can do is have an acceptance of it. Accepting the past is the only way to live in the present. When you realize that this present moment is all you have, you realize how much you can do right now. You can apologize for hurtful exchanges of words or try to beg for forgiveness for past wrongdoings. But most importantly, you can take what you’ve learned and bring it with you to the present to set the tone for the behavior you want to have moving forward. 

12. You’re only the star of your life

Acceptance is acknowledging that the world doesn’t revolve around you in other people’s lives. In your life, you’re the star of the show, the one all storylines come out of. However, in other people’s lives, you play a minor role. Recognizing that will allow you to understand other people’s behavior better. Most people act like their needs are the only ones that matter. As you begin to recognize that people over-inflate their self-importance, you become accepting of your role in their life. That doesn’t mean you make yourself smaller for other people or become passive to toxic behavior. It more so means that you recognize the interconnectedness of the grander scheme of things. 

star of your life

13. People are both good and bad

We often label people as a good person or a bad one. If only it were that easy. In life you have to accept that things are actually more neutral than extreme. There are no true saints and there are no devils either. People are a mix of good and bad. People you view as good will do bad things and people you view as bad will do good deeds. As people learn, grow, experience hardships, loss, mental agony, and other emotional rollercoaster events, their behavior will change. People who make mistakes will learn from them. People who seem to not make any, will make them too. 

14. Everyone has some haters

You could be the nicest, kindest, and coolest person in the world and still have haters. No one escapes having some people dislike them. That doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with you either. Some people just don’t vibe with everyone. Don’t be afraid to live your life knowing that you’ll have haters on the sidelines. Keep being your awesome self. Take the risks you’ve always dreamed of taking. Live life on your terms. Don’t allow your inner critic to match the voice of your haters. You should be your number one fan, not your enemy. 

15. You won’t experience everything

The acceptance of what is is the realization that you won’t be able to do all the things you had hoped to do and see in your life. While you can live an eventful life, you won’t be able to travel to every country, eat every meal, cross off every bucket list item, and everything you had planned. You’ll always be short one of these three things: money, time, or your health. You can still live a great life doing some of the things you’d like to do. Accepting that you won’t experience everything your heart desires can be challenging. However, no one accomplishes everything they’d like to do before they die. 

bucket list

16. Sometimes you shouldn’t get what you want

People always think about how they deserve everything they want. However, without the context of what the reality of the situation is, we sometimes don’t realize that not getting something we wanted is actually a blessing. There are times when we really want something that isn’t possible for us. This resistance to the acceptance of what is causes us so much suffering as a result. However, you can still live a happy life and a good life at that despite not getting what you want. Sometimes, not getting what you want worked out well for you. 

17. Good and bad events flow in and out of each other

Let the story unfold. Sometimes a bad event happens and good things come out of it as a result. Other times, good things happen and bad things happen as a result. The reality is good and bad events flow in and out of each other. Until the story continues, do you see that sometimes a bad event could have a positive outcome whether it’s a life lesson, good deed, or acceptance of it. Before having a reaction to an event, let it first unfold. You might soon discover that the opposite of what you expected happened. 


The acceptance of what is a key component to accepting things in life. Whether you’re accepting yourself, your family, or anyone on the planet really, it all boils down to knowing that we’re all interconnected. Nothing is quite what it seems on the surface. Accept that all you have in life is this present moment and you’ll be operating within the realm of reality. Accept what you have and let go of what you don’t. Resistance instead of acceptance of what is, is what leads to our misery. Being accepting of things sets us free. 

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