By Danielle Laban, NLU Director of Student Experience
Acceptance is not the same as permission. Acceptance is the beginning of an inquiry. It is the first step on a journey, whereas permission, psychologically speaking, is allowing unhealthy behavior to continue.
Often, people confuse the two. They think that if they accept something unpleasant about themselves, or another, that they are condoning bad behavior and allowing it to continue. Instead, acceptance is living with things as they are, and then taking steps from there. Acceptance is living with oneself and others, warts and all, and then growing. Permission is suffering with something you don’t want, and feeling powerless to do something about it.
If I accept that I made a mistake or did something hurtful to someone that I love, it does not mean that I am okay to do it again, over and over. It does not mean that I permit myself to keep acting out. Rather, acceptance is the first step towards better understanding oneself and then working with what’s there. It is a call to growth, and a chance to proceed with compassion.
The Counseling Center at NLU can help with finding acceptance in difficult or stressful situations. Simply send an email to email@example.com to schedule an initial meeting with one of our highly trained counselors.