Along our spiritual path, we will all encounter the concept of acceptance as being a doorway to discovering our bliss. The idea being that if we can be more accepting of what is, we will bring peace into our lives.
Acceptance doesn’t appear to be the most glamorous of spiritual approaches but it is vastly under-rated. Since the 1980’s and the era of having it all, we have been conditioned into wanting more. However much we have consciously repelled materialism, we cannot live in a climate based on accumulation and not have been affected. In fact, denying materialism is still the flipside of the problem. Our aim is to be able to transcend our desires whilst honouring and respecting our dreams. To be aware of them yet not driven by them brings both peace and freedom.
Dreams and wishes are a natural part of being human. We wouldn’t ever learn to walk or talk if the desire to move or communicate wasn’t present. The problem is that, culturally, the quest for more has moved beyond a passion for exploring our world and into the realms of addiction. What was once viewed as a privilege is now an expectation and when life doesn’t measure up to these norms, we experience angst and pain. It is our misguided belief that life ‘should’ be different to how it is that is causing our suffering.
One of our biggest blocks to inner peace, is the unwillingness to live in the reality of our current circumstances. We have learnt that if there is an issue, we should either deny it or fix it. Neither approach will help us towards discovering bliss.
We find ourselves getting lost in the gap between our reality and our expectations. Being somewhere ‘in between’ is the root of all of our feelings of insecurity, instability and loneliness. We don’t belong in the future — we belong in the now. It is impossible to feel personally fulfilled when we are busy trying to live in some imagined reality. We may feel excited or inspired but we won’t find the contented happiness that comes from being at peace with life.
Here are some of the ways in which we can journey down the path of acceptance:
Acceptance of us
We were born whole, happy and complete. Somewhere between then and now, we have picked up conditioned beliefs that in some way we don’t measure up. Most of us hold the mistaken idea that we aren’t good enough and any day we will be found out — what psychologists refer to as the imposter syndrome.
Self-acceptance is a process of discovering your true, unconditioned nature. We all have flaws. We all have talents. This is what makes you uniquely you. To return to the wholeness of your birth, let go of the need to judge the parts as good or bad and wrong or right. This divides and separates your sense of self. Know that you are all of these aspects and they are all part of the perfection of your being. There is no need for you to be any different. Just show up as you are and that is enough.
Acceptance of others
To return to our natural state of oneness, we must then extend the same courtesy to those around us. When we judge or criticise anyone else, we amplify our own separation. We are all descended from one source of creation; therefore we must all be connected. Each bucket of water taken from the ocean remains as the ocean. Therefore we are all part of the divine source.
Take time to notice how your perceptions steal away your inner peace. We cannot acknowledge anyone as better or worse than us and still feel good. Judgment is not a path to bliss. Therefore, acceptance of others, not as a brother or a sister but as the reflection of us, is to awaken to the real truth — That we are all one.
Acceptance of Divine Will
When we stop to contemplate life, isn’t it rather amusing that we strive to be in control. Taking into account every aspect of the Universe, where did we get the misguided impression that we were in charge?
The important distinction to make is that we are not the creator of our experiences but we are the co-creators. It is our focus and intentions that set the scene but divine will that tells the story.
Where it tends to get messy is when we start interfering with the storyteller’s work. Don’t the best scripts always unfold perfectly? From our limited viewpoint, we take a snapshot of time and firmly declare, “This is not as it should be”. So begins our meddling!
What if you stopped arguing with reality and instead accepted life just as it is for now? That which we think is so wrong, may lead us directly to our desired destiny if we allow things to unfold as intended. How would you be if you accepted that life was happening perfectly? Welcome to your bliss!