If you accept something for what it is you are relating to it – if not, you are relating to something else.
Whatever we encounter moment by moment, adds to our base of life experience; the instant we become aware of something, our mind creates a composite snapshot of both it and everything that relates to it. Our initial conscious response is to identify it so that our life-experience will tell us how to respond appropriately. The information our mind retrieves consists of anything from a direct id to vague clues, but nonetheless, the information contains everything previously stored that is both available and relative to the encounter. We then compare that information with that new something in our focus, both directly and indirectly, and process the results: we decide whether to stay or run; we make value judgments; we construct logical conclusions; our feelings and emotions engage; etc. Our mind initiates this process for everything we experience, whether that something is a rock, a kind gesture by a stranger, a sound, or even a new way of thinking.
This entire process works very quickly and efficiently but often returns memories based on misperception. Maybe my only experience with people that sell cars is the typical used-car salesman, and so when I earn enough money to buy a new car, I filter the new experience with an honest salesperson through my past experiences only. Whereas if I accept this new experience as is, and thus understand it for what it is, my perception of people that sell cars changes from, “All people that sell cars are untrustworthy”, to, “Some people that sell cars are trustworthy”. When this normally beneficial filtering process begins inhibiting our ability to accept something as is – telling our self one thing when reality says otherwise – we relate only to our past, not to the present. We relate to the betrayal we once experienced instead of the kindness behind the kiss. We relate to the methods previously established instead of one that is different but will make our life less difficult. We relate to our previous hang-ups instead of the teacher that would help us to understand them, overcome them and use them to our advantage.
Accepting something as is, gives objectivity as we relate to the experiences in our life, allowing our mind to store and retrieve authentic memories: if we accept something as is we store it as is and relate to it for what it is. Otherwise, we store it as an instance of past experience only, and relate to it as though it is something else.