Accepting What Is
As we continue with our explorations around Joy, we must consider the idea of acceptance.
Acceptance is one of the eight key pillars to joy.
Acceptance means to assent to the reality of any given situation, recognising a process or condition (often negative or uncomfortable) without trying to change it or resist it in any way. In a nutshell acceptance means to find ease with what is right here, right now – whether we like it not.
It sounds so easy, but it takes a great deal of awareness, discipline and often courage to truly embrace the idea of acceptance.
We are all so deeply conditioned to be on our way to be somewhere else that we are rarely present and even less likely to be at ease with what is here right now. Our culture has amplified this by creating the illusion that we should all fear failure. Many of our families, friends and/or co-workers then collude with and compound this idea by continually re-affirming the thoughts that we are about to fail and that all will be ok as long as we are somewhere else.
Often this conditioning runs so deep that we are oblivious to it and run our lives in a constant trance of thinking – a kind of virtual reality where we are not even awake.
In this trance like state, we are deep in wants and riddled in fears that stop us from accepting what is. We have a sense that something is not quite right and it often drives our thinking. When you look deeper – at the core of this – there is usually a very deep-seated feeling of not being good enough and that we are just around the corner from failing.
Tara Brach calls this the trance – the trance of unworthiness, and even though we know intuitively that we tend to judge ourselves too much, we are not aware of the real extent of the damage that this has on our overall wellbeing.
It stops us from:
- Seeing who we really are – caught in an identity that is less than who we really are
- Feeling at ease with who you are
- Getting close to others – we fear they will see our unworthiness
- Allowing intimacy
- Being spontaneous
- Taking risks
- Relaxing, not doing, and resting becomes risky business
So how do you break out of the trance and find your way back home? A place where you can accept what is, who you are and who others are. A place where you are no longer just managing your lives and where you start living it as it really is.
Here are my top tips to get you started:
- Make it daily practice to accept at least one or two things exactly as they are – to assist with this – look at the facts of any given situation and avoid your normal interpretations/ judgements
- Work to understand what you can and cannot control and accept that
- Learn to let it be as it is – avoid fighting/ resisting it
- Get more present – pause at every opportunity throughout the day and focus on the moment that is as it is. Practice this often and start by picking easy and quiet moments at first
- Build on this – by stretching to moments that are not so easy – where there is pain or when it feels uncomfortable. Always try to notice what it is that is being triggered. Use pause again to notice the emotion and then name it for what it is– let it be – really allow and rest in it and then let it go without attaching thoughts and emotions to it
- Always – always avoid judging situations or emotions as “good” or “bad.”
- By learning to become mindful of our emotions and by learning to allow them by either leaning into them or away from them – remembering that feelings don’t last forever it will become easier and easier to let them come and go like the waves in the ocean.
Remember if we are at war with a thing – we stay in prison.
Written by Clare Butterworth
On behalf of HCC and Little Sun Learnings