What is Acceptance, Anyway?

I have a problem with acceptance. I'm not sure I can accept things, or that I even understand the concept of it. Throughout my life I've never just sat down and thought "this is bad but that's okay" (or whatever acceptance means). I've fixed it, or if it's not important to me I've simply not cared.

This has become very problematic for me in the last few years. As I grow older my past becomes more. More of everything, including things that I'd rather have undone. But the past can't be changed. So I've been told that I need to "accept" it.

It's just that nobody has been able to explain what that even means. The dictionary gives me nothing, really, and all the explanations I've found basically boil down to this:

"Acceptance is when you accept something. It's not the same as giving up."

Circular a bit? I had a psychologist literally tell me that "acceptance is when you accept something" without being able to expound on that even the slightest.

So I know it's something different than giving up. It's also, I've been told, different from not caring. Somehow I am to let shitty things be shitty, not try to change them (but not give up trying, I guess), and still care about the fact that they're shitty. It makes me dizzy just trying to figure out.

No, I can't change my past. Yes, there are things about the present that I can't change either. Yes, there are things about myself that I can't change. I don't know what I can and can't change in this respect, which makes this even harder. I have a limited control of what the future brings. Some of these things I should try to change, some I should not try to change, I guess. Or should I? Because I'm not supposed to give up on them.

Sigh. Colour me confused.

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