7-8-18 Acceptance

Acceptance

To recognize and honor the simple truth and reality of what has happened.

To acknowledge the difficulty in your life without escaping from it or avoiding it.

And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place or thing, or situation – some fact of my life  – unacceptable to me. And I can find no serenity until I ACCEPT that person, place thing or situation, as being exactly the way it is…. I need to concentrate not so much what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and my attitudes. If I focus on a problem, the problem gets bigger ; if I focus on the answer, the answer increases. (Big Book. Acceptance Was The Answer)

We do not blindly accept any and all situations and say – oh well.

Acceptance is the first step in recognizing, an awareness of knowing a situation for what it    honestly is. Not our personal twist, denial or manipulation of what we want it to be. A very straightforward, simple and real knowing of what it is. No story lines, no blame or guilt.

We then accept it for what it is, not good or bad, but it IS.

We can then decide what course of action, if any, would be best to take. A course of action      informed by our values, our hearts and a spiritual sense of reality. Even if it’s difficult or          uncomfortable.

Even as you may react negatively to something that has happened, you realize that any actions that come from a negative state of mind, will continue to promote suffering. If you are brave enough to act with mindfulness and gentleness, you know that the effect will be one of growth and peace. The first step is accepting the fact that you are personally responsible for whatever your state of mind is.

“You couldn’t relive your life, skipping the awful parts, without losing what made it worthwhile. You had to accept it as a whole–like the world, or the person you loved.” ? Stewart O’Nan

“I am my own biggest critic. Before anyone else has criticized me, I have already criticized myself. But for the rest of my life, I am going to be with me and I don’t want to spend my life with someone who is always critical. So I am going to stop being my own critic. It’s high time that I accept all the great things about me.” ? C. JoyBell C.

Acceptance means opening up and making room for painful feelings and sensations. You learn how to drop the struggle with them, give them some breathing space, and let them be there without getting all caught up in them, or overwhelmed by them. The more you can open up, and give them room to move, the easier it is for your feelings to come and go without draining you or holding you back. 

We can accept that there are bad, difficult things, that happen in the world and in our lives. We may not condone some actions, but we need to accept they are there.

Find solutions instead of complaining:

It is completely meaningless to complain about things. Negative people drain everyone around them. Instead, ask yourself, “What can I do to solve the problem?” And if you can’t solve it, where can you focus your energy more productively? What things can you control?

When we sit in meditation, we learn to observe our thoughts, very much like observing the clouds in the sky. We’re not trying to control the experience, we’re just accepting and observing. Do you get upset at the clouds because they are not forming the shapes YOU want? Acceptance is simple and honest observation. It’s what happens BEFORE you choose to act. Acceptance is what allows you to act wisely, verses just reacting. Acceptance is seeing clearly FIRST, before any action. Acceptance is what free’s us to choose wisely.

Learn to see and appreciate what you have, as opposed to giving too much attention to what you’ve lost or what you are hoping for. Open up to what is truly beautiful and important in life. The truth is, every experience is new, and it’s up to you how complete or lacking it seems.

Take on the curiosity of a child. Open up and explore life as if it were your first day here. 

For transformation to take place, we have to actually make friends with our mind. We have to learn to like ourselves. This is the opposite of a “get rich quick” scheme. It only comes from the willingness to be with yourself, nakedly, openly, and lovingly, again and again over a long period of time. Which means we have to spend time with ourselves. It’s often tough, it’s usually intense, and it leads to a hard-fought, slow-won, and revolutionary victory over self-hatred. We can actually come to like ourselves. Liking yourself is the result of acceptance. This is a radical way of thinking. Come on – you have always wanted to be a radical, haven’t you?

If we only offer conditional love, we are trying to manipulate and change someone to how we think they should be, not accepting who they are. When we permit ourselves to be swayed in our behavior by fear and the need to accomodate and placate someone else, we deny our true and healthy self, and are settling for conditional love. We need to accept that behavior, and recognize it is less than healthy, and accept that we can and will do better. We will be brave and loving towards ourselves and others in thought and action. Not just in thinking it is a good idea and never really embodying it, or acting on it. But to feel and accept that we need to step into our fear, to act the best we can, to live a full, kind and honorable life.

No time is better spent than knowing yourself, and fully accepting and LOVING yourself. Your choices will then seem to flow from a river of bounty. This is how we learn to accept and love others, and ourselves, just as we are.

How do you fill your bucket? One acceptance at a time.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.

Heart Of Recovery web site    fcheartofrecovery.com