acceptance | kseptns |
1 the action of consenting to receive or undertake something offered:
2 the action or process of being received as adequate or suitable, typically to be admitted into a group
3 agreement with or belief in an idea, opinion, or explanation
willingness to tolerate a difficult or unpleasant situation
This week we are going to focus on the Character Workbooks's second trait: Acceptance. We all know what it is to accept something physical like a gift or a handshake. Acceptance gets a little more complex when something unpleasant happens to us. At work we can receive a correction and hopefully accept it. Everyday we get thousands of inputs to our senses and sent into our brain that we more or less just accept. Acceptance is a part of our reality whether we cognize it or not. So what's there to talk about? Today's blog post is going to define how to accept that which we don't prefer.
Detach and Surrender
When we are confronted with difficult experiences we have to keep detachment and surrender in mind or else we are going to attach and hold on to them, thus making our sadhana that much more difficult. There is a letting go that occurs when awareness has a chance to put reason and logic in front of emotion and accept what is happening.
Ever notice how we can easily let small things in life go? Let's say someone spills a drink in the kitchen and your first reaction is to grab a towel and help clean it up, easy right? That experience doesn't really go through your mind all day and night because you were detached. In a sense, you were able to set emotion aside and logically mend the situation based on past experience. We've all spilled something before and after a while we develop a habit of cleaning those situations up. It's the situations in life that we aren't secure in that really cause us grief, and when a solution isn't immediately obvious we can react with emotion--often making the situation worse. Acceptance isn't really possible when ego takes over and demands attention. In a way our frustration and anger are saying, "This shouldn't be happening, at least not to me."
Clinging to ego with emotion is fuel for the fire. Our basic wish to be respected can take any situation out of control, often upsetting the other person--who isn't thinking at all about your self-worth. Miscommunication breeds misunderstanding and a race to see who can dominate takes us out of being two-thirds within and into the toil of our lower nature. Encounter this enough times with the same person and trust is broken down to catastrophic levels.
Let's put things in perspective and change the way we react to hardship: Own it.
Embracing Stress Through Ownership
To detach in the heat of the moment not only takes intellectual understanding and practice, but it requires a new paradigm of ownership for everything that happens to us. If it is our karma getting dealt then so be it. Once we take ownership of a situation we can then take responsibility and find a solution. Until that happens it's the other person's fault and nothing gets resolved.
But what if we surrendered to what is happening and accepted it as our karma? Or even better, what if we could look forward to challenges knowing that it progresses our souls evolution? Breathe. When we breathe deeply we get a chance to center ourselves. Stepping back for a moment and breathing can let your emotion subside just long enough tp bring you up into reason and logic. It's not enough to know the teachings and understand how karma works, we have to practice in-the-moment detachment in order to get better at handling stress. Notice that's not dealing with stress but handling it. Anytime we feel like we have to deal with something we aren't really accepting it fully. Dealing with stress isn't the same as handling it effectively.
The Week Ahead
For this week, when experiencing situations that do not work out as you had hoped, step back, breathe and detach in order to let go of your expectations and accept the actual outcome. Own up to it, be responsible and start producing a solution instead of blaming others.
Comment below with your commitment for accepting what happens this week!
Satguru Bodhinatha is visiting devotees in Singapore and Malaysia.