“Peace in the mind, love and compassion in the heart, bring the scattered world into one reality” – Baba Hari Dass
Many times in our lives, we think that external circumstances are constantly interrupting the desires we have either to accomplish goals, disrupting our meditation practice or maybe just a constant nuisance to some perceived lifestyle that is not happening. We then think that there has to be a better way or some secret solution or wonder why things just do not happen the way we want.
Not accepting conditions as they are can bring hurt, frustration, anger, impatience and depression. But the idea of acceptance can be interpreted as fatalism with the thinking that ‘it is what it is’ and there is nothing we can do about it. We could feel that with acceptance we cannot change our world or surroundings. Acceptance in the form of powerless resignation creates unhappiness. Thinking ‘that’s how I am and there is nothing I can do about it’ means resignation. If we believe that we are puny victims of circumstance we grow weaker. But, in order to be fully alive, we need to sort out what deserves our efforts to change and what we could accept. Frustration arises by not accepting the inevitable.
Another way of acceptance is one of empowerment that allows us to develop more stillness and balance. When you sit in meditation and there is some noise, you can allow it to be a distraction or you can accept it as a sensation to be observed. When you have some pain, you can resist or try to relax into it. If you stop trying to change others against their wills they will have less resistance.
Empowered acceptance brings self- power over the aversions that affect our equanimity and with practice our energy is restored and our prana is maintained in balance. When we accept our unchangeable personal traits we then allow ourselves to enjoy being who we are and become more authentic and alive. What we can change is most often our responses to circumstances. Acceptance makes it possible to consciously approach any disappointment, past or present, as an opportunity to learn and understand the situation, the power of how you respond and how your choices, beliefs and actions shape the outcomes of your life and relationships.
By realizing that there are things that we cannot change, along with having the courage to change the things we can, and using our wisdom to know the difference, we develop deep acceptance which leads to peace within. You can choose to consciously practice acceptance to appreciate your mind, body, breath and all that you are, and all that others are, for no other reason than just because.
By Andre Casaubon