On Self Acceptance


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Imagine you’ve had a terrible argument with your nearest and most dear friend.  You’ve not spoken to each other in months.  Any encounter with this friend has met with a scornful glance that is quickly turned in another direction and a silence quite noisy with unrequited pain and anger.

Eventually your own pain and anger begin to give way to better memories of the dear one and you find yourself in a position of surrender.  You realize that all this anguish is too dear a price to pay for the separation from the friend.  So you resolve yourself to take the step to make it right.

You make the call with trembling fingers and invite your friend to come to your home.  You explain that you miss them and want to talk it out.  After a pause that seems an eternity, your friend accepts.

As you busy yourself making tea and tidying up you find your friend’s presence is very near to you even though they haven’t arrived yet.  You realize nothing, not pride, not ego, not being right is worth the loss someone and something so dear.  And the bell rings.

With heart pounding you rush to open the door.  You had thought of a million brilliant things to say at this moment, but when the door is opened and your eyes meet it all plummets into silence.  Nervous smiles are exchanged and you invite the friend to sit.

In this moment your heart is full and your head is empty.  You realize there is no fault in your friend.  There never was.  They are someone sorely missed and deeply loved and in that light fault cannot exist.  You suspect your friend is feeling the same as you both sit quietly sipping tea, waiting for that moment of reconnection and feeling the warmth of that loving union as it returns.

This little tale is a reflection of our own inner world when we aren’t in acceptance of ourselves.  And most of us aren’t.  I invite you to sit a moment and feel what is happening in your own body.  Any sensation of discomfort or tension is telling another tale.  When we accept ourselves there is no tension, not physically, mentally or emotionally.  There is only relaxed clarity.

If you are seeking self-acceptance, regardless your reasons, reflect on the story above.  When the meeting with the dear friend finally takes place, the reason for the argument is irrelevant.  You instinctively know that reconnection and the resumption of the flow of the relationship cannot take place if you place blame.  You don’t even care who was right or wrong.  The whole difficulty seems stupid and you realize that relationship was never disrupted.  It was all a painful illusion.  And so it is when meeting ourselves.  You must meet what you are resisting internally eye-to-eye, openly and quietly.  You must allow it to be what it is, undisturbed.

As with the reunion with the friend, the whys are not important.  Why is in the past, and the actuality of the past is dead.  All that remain are stories of it, written by pain and anger, a distortion of the truth that will and can never be found.

So don’t waste your energy and create even more tension by bothering with the why, or the cause of your own tension.  Instead, invite it into your home, your heart, without the need for judgement.  Whether it’s right or wrong, justified or not, is irrelevant.  It is causing you discomfort and suffering

because you’re not meeting it fairly, openly and it won’t settle until you do.  Allow your own discomfort to be what it is.

So invite it as you would your dearest friend.  Sit with it, patiently, quietly and attentively.  Let it begin the flow without the interference of your own thoughts.  This disharmony only longs for your acceptance.  And, like your dearest friend, you’ll find a tremendous love begins to bloom.  The suffering ceases in an instance.  You are complete again.  Whole.  Untouched.  Relaxed.  Natural.  Joyous.   Burn the stories and don’t revisit them.  They’re completely useless.

Something About Fear


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I’ve noticed something very curious about fear, both in general and as it relates to writing.  It’s always there, I’m just very good at trying to look the other way.  And we all know how well that works.  It doesn’t.  Every time I sit down to write, there is  fear that starts fluttering away in my chest.  An internal dialogue starts, always self-depreciating.  Ironically, I don’t experience this when I write a post on Facebook; a place of complete exposure.  But when the fear comes, I will not write.  Anything.  I just click that little red “x” in the upper right hand corner of the empty page with the proclamation “I can’t do it,” and busy myself in something else.

At first I thought it wise to figure out the “why” but I remembered that even if I do figure out why, I just end up constructing a mental fiction about it, filled with drama and intrigue, and it just compounds and completely defeats the purpose.  So no scrutinizing whys.

I’ve managed to make friends with my other arch rival, pain, why not this unfounded and irrational fear?  So, I invited fear to come and sit awhile.  Like pain, it too came quietly.  It sat very still, not the jittery, sweaty thing I had imagined it to be.  When I looked into its eyes I didn’t see quivering terror.  I saw a luminous softness, and somewhere behind the softness there was longing.  And in the quietest of voices, barely above a whisper, it explained its loneliness.  With a childlike innocence so tender and fragile, it was feeling very isolated.  Separated.  It longed for union and that union had to begin with my acceptance of its existence.  Another dear old friend just needing a loving embrace.  Another one I had forsaken.  Stupid me.  Coward to the bone.

But fear, when you invite it without resistance or definition, is such a tender thing.  An infant, all pink and soft and helpless, wanting to be nurtured, to be accepted, to be whole.  But this wholeness it longs for is not with the outside world or anything material or with anyone else.  It has awakened into the cold light of an illusory world and has become lost in the gaudiness, mesmerized by the din, believing its fairy tales and its horror stories.  It’s utterly confused.

So, I took its wee hand and patted it.  A comforted understanding bloomed and it simply faded away.  All that remained was a grateful and radiant smile.

 

All This Pain


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In retrospect, all the pain I’ve felt in my life continues because I resist just meeting it. I have convinced myself that some terrible thing will befall me that will be irreversible. That I will somehow be destroyed. So I stuff it away, ignore it, hide from it and I suffer. I’m a coward and I’m tired. This is a war I have enough clarity to know I won’t win. It’s not possible.

So I surrendered. I let the pain come and I sit with it quietly. There is no conversation with it or judgement of it. It’s almost as if it were an entity unto itself, equally tired, and together we just want to rest silently in each other’s company. Comrades. Compatriots. So we have been sitting.

I discovered what a beautiful friendship I’ve been denying. This pain is a beautiful thing, not the ugly, gnarled, snaggle-toothed demon I thought it was. It’s delicate. As transparent as a tear drop. It doesn’t want to destroy anything. It just wants the comfort of an embrace and the embrace it longs for is my own.

When I welcome it in the most intimate place in my heart, in stillness and acceptance, it transforms. Instead of a monster it’s just a tiny flower smiling up at the sun. And I have been the biggest fool.

 

What Works Against You Can Work to Help You


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In places like this, in spiritual literature, in self-help media, we will encounter the word “ego” endlessly.  Every time we encounter this word, if we’re able, it’s helpful to watch the reaction that arises within us to the words surrounding it.  That is our own ego rising up and waving “hello”.  It’s likely to try and assert its control over us and our reactions, and the way it will depends on the context it’s used in.  Sometimes the reaction is self-satisfaction; a mental pat on the back.  Other times it will rise up as self-righteous anger; a defence mechanism.  It can us to draw closer to others, but will assure we remain steadfastly a separate entity.  It can also cause us to lash out at others; again assurance we remain firmly rooted in our own little box of self-identity.  Either way, it’s a self-defeating habit if we want to grow more deeply in spiritual understanding.

If we’re able to become aware of this as an observer and not an unconscious participant in the antics of the ego, we can become intimately familiar with it.  It’s through this un-attached relationship that we can begin to watch it’s influencing dissolve.  We will begin to see less of a need to react emotionally.  We gain the insight into the illusory stories the ego writes to sustain itself in its position of control.

But this is not a curse.  There’s no need to demonize it.  What the ego does when it arises is presents us with a perfect opportunity.  It shines a spotlight on hazardous and destructive mind-habits that keep us from any real understanding of who we are.  It illuminates its own illusion.

When we realize this, and learn to embrace it as our own inner guru, our inner life will begin to experience a shift.  We react less.  We suffer less.  We cling less.  We experience less conflict.  We have more clarity.  We feel more peaceful.  We experience a depth of effortlessness.  We experience life more fully.  Yes, the ego can work for us if we learn how to watch it and develop a conscious partnership with it.  Give it a try.

Those Who Desire to Understand – Jiddu Krishnamurti


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Those who desire to understand, who are looking to find that which is eternal, without beginning and end, will walk together with greater intensity, will be a danger to everything which is unessential, to unrealities, to shadows. They will concentrate. They will become the flame, because they understand.

~ Jiddu Krishnamurti ~

Thank you Tao & Zen