Acceptance or Resignation: What’s the difference?

Divine Surrender “Some people confuse acceptance with resignation.

Acceptance leaves your will intact, resignation leaves it behind.

Resignation happens when you can’t find your choice in a matter—or believe no choice exists.

Acceptance happens when you willingly choose to embrace a situation, knowing in your heart it is soul-directed for your highest good.”          ~ Jitendra

I’m often asked to explain the difference between acceptance and resignation. I know many people who sincerely and reverently describe how they are surrendered in their lives. They tell me how they’ve accepted God’s Will or some circumstance in their life that feels out of their control.  They explain how they’ve moved their ego out of the way and accepted what is.  The problem is, they’ve actually abdicated their will and suffer from what I call a spiritual depression.  This is where a person, in order to feel spiritually aligned, has toned down their level of aliveness and enthusiasm to an unpassionate (in contrast to healthy dispassion) expression that mimics non-attachment.

I’m thinking of an old friend in particular who is a well known and loved spiritual teacher and author.  I still remember hearing him say that he was not in relationship because God had chosen to leave him single.  The problem wasn’t whether he was single or not, it was that he was depressed and unhappy and felt powerless to change his circumstance.  So he told himself and friends this spiritually correct story of how he was in acceptance of his dilemma.  But he left an all important step out of the acceptance process, and that was an empathic connection with a deeper aspect of himself himself that felt hopeless.

If you are feeling at all victimized, frustrated or helpless then you are closer to resignation than acceptance.  Acceptance asks that you both feel your emotions completely while holding the higher purpose of your circumstance in view.

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