em·brace (ĕm-brās′, ɛmˈbreɪs)
1. to hold close with the arms, usually as an expression of affection
3. to adopt, support or accept (an opportunity, a challenge, etc) willingly
Why is ‘embrace’ so hard to translate?
Well, I guess it is because we never fully mean just the physical ‘hug’. And that’s why I love this word and chose to share it with you today.
I want to talk to you about meaning #3 of this verb and how it is so much more than simply “aceitar”. When we use aceitar in Portuguese, we are normally referring to a passive rather than an active process. It just feels like you have no other choice, so you don’t even choose. You just accept.
To embrace is more than simply accept because it takes compassion. You can accept that everybody has their flaws. But you need to embrace that you too are faulty because – guess what – that’s part of human nature. And only when you do this, you’re ready to forgive yourself for being faulty, and then you move forward to work on them.
To embrace is more than simply accept because it takes intentionality. When looking back at last year, you can either focus on how terrible 2020 was – and this is an irrefutable fact we all must accept – or you can take up the lessons learned when life stretched you beyond limits. It’s never easy, but at least you should know there is a choice.
To embrace is more than simply accept because it takes courage. Despite all expert analysis and forecasts, elegantly drawn on smart dashboards, there’s uncertainty everywhere. And – guess what – it’s also part of human nature not to deal well with uncertainty. It’s just not acceptable. So you need courage to face uncertainty and, with that courage, you embrace uncertainty.
When you choose to embrace something rather than simply accept it, that thing becomes slightly less of a giant, slightly less frightening. You take over it before it takes over you. And this valid for your current flaws and mistakes, your past fights and wounds, your future challenges and uncertainties.
I hope you embrace 2021 with all it has to offer. And if fear comes, embrace it too.