Paul Tournier, the Swiss physician and author, said that acceptance of our lives has nothing to do with resignation; rather, it means accepting life as it comes.
In my experience, acceptance is a beautiful teaching at the root of many wisdom traditions, including Buddhist compassion teachings, the Law of Least Effort and Christ Consciousness. Regardless of your orientation to these belief systems, we can always find personal evolution and divine awakening in:
- Accepting that this moment is perfect, pure and whole. Every moment that has led to this moment was exactly the way it was meant to be a magnificent culmination of all of your choices -- every experience that has woven itself in, around, and through you.
So many of us have difficulty accepting past choices, especially when they turn out to be "wrong." We are our toughest critic and we know all the moments where we felt less than, or were sloppy, lazy or casual with our decisions. We know where we could have been better, or stronger, or wiser, or more patient, or more truthful, or more engaged. But in that moment, we didn't know it. We didn't have access to a crystal ball of consequences; or maybe we didn't take the time to really explore the depth of our actions or choices.
So we have two very clear choices: We can either beat ourselves up for not being clairvoyant and diminish the happiness in our lives by pointing a continuous finger of blame at ourselves; or we can accept the past as a lesson so that we can make better choices and find deeper fulfillment in life. This is where the benefits of meditation shine.
So often, we hold ourselves accountable for all the pitfalls and unhappiness in our lives, and we point to some decision we made that was the root of it all. But this is unnecessary and harsh. Attributing blame only gets in the way of making the best decision in this moment -- especially self-blame because that is also self-defeating. It takes the wind out of our sails and that doesn't help us in any way.
In business, in history, in politics, in sports... where the stakes are so high, the ability to step beyond the moment of blame and accept our individual mis-steps, mis-stakes, mis-speaks separates the winners from the losers. The ability to accept that we did our best from our own level of consciousness at the time, separates those willing to step out of the past (which is the stale, the old, the stuck) and into the present (which is rich, fresh and filled with infinite opportunities). Those mired in self-pity or finger-pointing are trapped in the past and destined to stay there because they will not accept what is carved in stone. They remain paralyzed in self-finger-pointing mode and that becomes their excuse for why they are unfulfilled; while those who have owned and accepted their decisions are able to move forward and make new, proud, exciting and restorative choices.
We can keep complaining about the rain or accept that it's raining, find an umbrella and dance in the cleansing fall. We get to choose. We are choice-making beings. No one can ever take that away from us -- not even ourselves. We just need a little reminder now and then.
Awaken your inner healer and begin a powerful transformation to accepting YOU. Wherever you are in your daily practice and whether your desired outcome is finding clarity in your life, coping with stress and anxiety, emotional healing or slowing the overwhelm, davidji can help you hone your meditation practice and take your life to the next level. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.