Acceptance is embracing life on its own terms. We are open to what is, rather than wishing for something different. We face the truth in all circumstances with honesty and courage. Acceptance helps us bend without breaking in the winds of tests, to gather the lessons and step forward with new wisdom and awareness. We affirm others and ourselves for the qualities we do have and avoid judgment and criticism for what we don’t have. Accepting myself allows me to give what I have to the world.


The greatest gift that you can give to others is the gift of unconditional love and acceptance. 

— Brian Tracey

 The Practice of Acceptance

  • I receive my tests with humor and grace.
  • I seek the truth in all I experience.
  • I accept the things I cannot change.
  • I trust that there is good in whatever happens.
  • I accept my intimates as they are.
  • I trust that I am a person of value.
Definitions and practices of virtue are used with permission from the Virtues Project™.

In Family Life

In a family, the virtue of acceptance takes the form of an unwavering commitment to embracing life as it unfolds, free from the constraints of unrealistic expectations. It means facing the truth about each family member’s unique qualities and limitations with honesty and courage. This acceptance empowers the family to navigate life’s challenges, bending with grace instead of breaking under pressure and gathering valuable lessons along the way.

Within such a family, there is a collective effort to affirm and uplift one another, recognizing and celebrating each member’s qualities while refraining from harsh judgments or criticisms for what they may lack. This profound acceptance allows every family member to fully express themselves, contribute their unique gifts to the world, and create a harmonious and nurturing environment where love and understanding reign supreme.

Balancing Virtues

Two essential virtues come to mind in the pursuit of maintaining balance in the virtue of acceptance.

Courage: Courage is essential to balance acceptance because it encourages us to face difficult truths and take appropriate action when necessary. When acceptance is paired with courage, it becomes a powerful force for positive change. Courage allows us to confront and address challenging situations with honesty and determination, rather than passively accepting things that need to be changed.

Discernment: Discernment is making wise and considered judgments. When paired with acceptance, discernment helps us distinguish between situations that require our embrace and those that necessitate change. It enables us to assess when acceptance is appropriate and when it’s necessary to take action. Discernment ensures that acceptance is not taken to an extreme, either by allowing harmful situations to persist or by resisting necessary change.

We can strike a harmonious balance by cultivating these virtues—courage and discernment—alongside acceptance. We embrace life as it is, but we also have the wisdom and courage to recognize when change is needed and take action accordingly. This balanced approach allows us to navigate the complexities of life with grace, understanding, and the capacity for positive growth.