not that the things which happen should happen as you wish; but wish
which happen to be as they are, and you will have tranquil flow of
conditions as they are may bring us hurt, frustration, anger,
impatience and depression. Yet progress often comes from not accepting
conditions as they are. When we
find ourselves irked by something and think, “There has to be a better
we may seek a solution. If enough of us focus our irkedness, we can
our culture, laws, political structure, and the world around us. When
come to the painful realization that not all is well in our psyche, we
be stimulated to make changes in our thinking and behavior. We don’t
by accepting our flaws and deciding “That’s just how I am and there is
I can do about it.” So in order to be fully alive we need to sort out
deserves our efforts to change and what we would be wise to accept.
arises from not accepting the inevitable.
Acceptance in the form of
powerless resignation breeds unhappiness. When we nurture thoughts that
we are puny victims of circumstances, we grow weaker. Acceptance of
abuse or other forms of evil diminish our humanity.
Another mode of acceptance
though, one of empowerment, allows us to settle deeper into stillness
and equanimity. When we sit in meditation we may be practicing this
empowered acceptance. If we don’t scratch the itch, but accept it as a
sensation to be observed, we gain power over it and we may find that it
goes away on its own. When we
don’t swat the fly that persists in landing on us, we may come to
recognize an aspect of the power that our aversions hold over us. When
we stop resisting pain, but relax into it, we may find our energy
restored and flowing. As we
become aware of ourselves breathing in, breathing out, sitting, being
we are connected to the whole of the universe, and we sense that the
is breathing us as much as we are breathing, we may experience the gift
As we explore our way of
acceptance, we may find that when we stop trying to change our loved
ones against their wills, they are more open to our suggestions. When
we accept our unchangeable personal traits, we can allow ourselves to
enjoy being who we are. We can be more authentic and alive. What we can
change is most often our response to circumstances.
The Serenity Prayer sums up
the challenge of sorting what to change and what to accept.
serenity to accept the things I cannot change
Many people find their
serenity using that prayer, and not a few others are put off by prayers
to a deity. For them perhaps a simple set off affirmations could serve
the same purpose.
Courage to change the
things I can and
The wisdom to know the
I change what I can and
ought to change.
I draw on wisdom to know
We could also remind
ourselves of our intention to embrace acceptance with a mantra repeated
over and over such as:
Acceptance of what is does
require complacency or mere resignation, for what is in this moment may
be what is in the next.
I accept this pain.
I accept this emotion.
I accept this decision.
I accept this condition I
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