Sunday, March 1, 2009
How to be accepting is part of our intrinsic Nature
"Though I do believe we are all capable of 'good,' I tend to think we are more evil than good and society forces us to sublimate it and/or different religions/spiritual praxes condition us otherwise."
We really cannot know for certain if that's ture, or if we are inherently good. Maybe we're not inherently anything! And of course, what do we mean when we use the terms, "Evil" or "Good"? She noted, "I know it reflects a sad state of mind and heart." But I really don't think so. We are all making the best choices and drawing the best conclusions we can, given the evidence with which life presents us.
What is it about your life at this moment that you just can't accept? Is it
What if you accepted everything? Would that be a receipt for disaster, or a prescription for Enlightenment? Read on and discover how to be accepting is part of our Inherent Nature. Then why don't we?
financial? your physical condition? your age? your weight? some situation you are involved in? your work?
When we were small, some of what came to us was crushing and overwhelming. We were little people in a big person's world. We felt things with an intensity that might not have been at all intended. And so we learned to buffer or filter what life brought us. This was a survivalist adaptation, and served us well in our vulnerability.
Now we are now adults and no longer as vulnerable as we once were. Unfortunately, we carry that childhood vulnerability unconsciously around with us and will need to do some inner healing work to stop identifying with our wounded child and realize that our adult nature is strong enough to deal with whatever comes into our lives.
Accepting means being willing to allow life to happen in and around us without trying to stop or control it. Of course there are things and situations which we will need to reject -- or rather, choose to reject: Those things which would do us or others harm, be they beliefs or actions. Fortunately our Inherent Wisdom is there to assist us in discerning what those things are and so we can make the choice to avoid or accept them.
Try saying this to or about someone with whom you have a relationship: "I accept you just the way you are." Notice what saying that brings to mind. If you are observant, you may notice that some things come to mind that are definitely NOT accepting. You may discover that in fact there are several areas in which you have "druthers" about this other person: "I'd rather they didn't smoke." I wish they didn’t snore, pick their nose, talk so much, come on so strongly, drive so fast, spend so much money, wear their hair that way, wear so much makeup, etc., etc. Make a list of all the things you DON'T accept about that person and see if you can practice accepting one of them for a week. Then move on to the next. You may discover a huge shift in the dynamics of your relationship if you try this. Acceptance invites intimacy. Rejection or judgment keeps intimacy at a distance. Rejection may never come out into the open, as in active hostility or argument; but it lies there as a fog in which the relationship lives.
Do the same for yourself. Say: "I accept myself just the way I am."Then notice what comes out that you DON'T accept about yourself and work on one of those for a week. I don't like or accept my grumpiness; my weight; my inferior education; my low energy; my low salary,: my "bad thoughts" about sex; my lack of interest in sports, etc. Then just go for a week saying I accept that aspect of myself. See what might happen in your own inner life.
Your inherent nature is to accept. You learned to not accept because you got hurt, or because you were taught that it isn't safe to be accepting. ("Don’t take candy from strangers.") Now, however, it is time to undo those restrictions and allow your accepting nature to emerge.
If I accept this it will never change!” By accepting something that you currently experience as negative, you may discover that it isn't actually negative or harmful and that it has value or worth or even pleasure in it. On the other hand, if it turns out to be actually harmful, your acceptance does not mean that you cannot change it; in fact, the first step in meaningful change is acceptance. Without accepting a situation, there is no way you can constructively change it. You will be reacting to the situation as a victim and not in a position to actually make a change. You will be reacting to your negation and trying to change what is “out there," when rejection is in fact your own inner response. Once you have reoriented your response from rejecting to accepting, THEN you can go on and make any needed or wanted changes. But you are doing so after your have taken responsibility and ownership of the situation by accepting it. I can only change what I have accepted.
So that :Accept; then change. Realize this aspect of your Inherent Nature and you will discover a great power.
I can only react. And reaction does not lead to change.