We wake each morning to a new day. And each new day, we can choose to begin afresh but, I do not know about you, I tend to see the same things, do similar things… and sometimes experience the same discontent, annoyed by the same matters, aggravated by the same people or situations.
As Anais Nin said, ‘we see the world as we are’; from our own unique lens. The same-same each day suggests the same old stale perspectives. For the past week I have fallen into a familiar pattern of old – my critical self, rearing its less than admirable head.
Oh, I know there are different perspectives, different approaches if you like – one that brings peace of mind, instead of a disruptive unfocused mind; and one that opens a generous heart, instead of a closed constricted heart. I know because I have been in that place of grace and peace.
My peace of mind was shattered because of something I am not accepting of. What, I do not yet know. All I can intuit is a sense of restlessness manifesting in impatience, annoyance and frustration. Perhaps it is the new path before me which is unfamiliar and uncertain, perhaps it is the need for acceptance from others not received, perhaps it is a fear of an alien self. What am I not accepting of my self?
Acceptance takes more than a ‘I know what it is’. It is not resignation to a state and certainly not avoidance of the reality of my light and shadow. Acceptance is a acknowledgement and warm embracing with goodwill and without guilt. It is saying “I’m ok. I’ve got this”, “it is what it is” or “all will be as it should be”. When we accept who we are and where we are, we gain peace of mind.
Peace of mind also comes from our acceptance of others and of our world.
In my less than gracious moments, in my interaction with others, I do end up watching and occasionally questioning, somewhat critically, why others do what they do, to grapple with the why, how and wherefores of our relationships. Negativity abounds. In a similar vein, we are agitated over how others perceive us, and why things happen to us. Is it beneficial to our wellbeing to be stuck in the vicious cycle of blame and victimhood? Does it bring peace of mind? Accepting what is – the person before us, the situation in this moment – allows us to step out and see a way forward. When we accept others for who they are, we give ourselves space to explore, without interference of the pushing, the resisting, the explaining, the confronting… We give ourselves permission to be free.
Sometimes things happen, they just do. It has little to do with you, you are not responsible or to blame, just that you happen to be caught in it. Can you accept that? Do we wail and rail against the Universe, against God? Or do we accept? I do not mean to ignore or undermine the awful situations some find themselves. When we can step out from the vicious cycle – this whirlwind of blaming ourselves or others and claiming our victimhood over and over again – we will feel empowered to make positive choices. Can we acknowledge the thing has occurred; and from that place, move forward with a vision to create something new.
This profound prayer says it well:
Like forgiveness, acceptance takes time and can only happen when one is ready to do so. It is different for everyone… there is no rule, no timeframe… just the awareness of what can be. It is a choice to be made.
What do you need to accept, about yourself, about your relationships, about your situation, about your world, in order to move forward, to begin afresh…?
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