Taoists texts speaks volumes on the concept of acceptance. Acceptance includes: non-judgment, non-resistance, and going with the flow. It does not necessarily include, however, becoming complacent or letting go of all conscious effort or intention. Indeed there is and must be a balance between ACCEPTING what is and INTENDING to create change--a juxtaposition between what Taoists refer to as WuWei and YouWei.
With this concept of balance in mind, we must practice not judging or resisting, not forcing or ignoring events and circumstances. We must allow them to be, give them space, and accept them for what they are--only then can we be present and clear enough to determine how WE choose to react to or work with such circumstances. Nowhere is this interesting and dynamic relationship between acceptance and intention truer than within the self. For internally, we have many thoughts and feelings, many experiences and perceptions. The more we resist, judge, ignore, push or pull aspects of our internal world--i.e. our emotions, our very self-concept--the more at conflict we shall be.
The path to inner peace comes with a healthy balance of self-acceptance and intention. First, you must accept yourself holistically. Accept, honor, appreciate, cherish all parts of you--that’s right, even the dark parts, the part you haven’t accepted or liked, the parts you felt ashamed of or frustrated by... Accept it all! There is no way to truly love yourself without accepting all parts of you. And there is no way to truly change unless you truly love yourself. Once you accept and appreciate all of YOU, then you can get clear and present in determining how you might go about making the changes you’d like to make, in a loving and supportive way, rather than from a foundation of fear, neediness, spite, or shame.
Accept yourself and appreciate yourself--all parts. Know that even the most difficult aspects of you were all just created to protect you, even if they didn’t do the job they set out to do. You had unconscious intention to self-protect, but now you realize that some of those self-protection mechanisms are only hurting or stifling you. Accept and love those parts for what they are, for the reasons they are there, for the safety they aimed to provide. Then they will allow you to consciously work with them in changing the old stories into new, healthier, more productive and loving truths. First accept--do not judge or hate--then intend. This is the path of self-acceptance, and this is the highest path you can take. The healthiest and most permanent change always begins from a place of love.