Acceptance

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Acceptance: the cessation of judgment!

Acceptance is where the well of freedom, healing and happiness springs forth. Awareness is the only condition that prempts acceptance. We must be aware of now to use acceptance. Our external pursuits to find healing, happiness and peace of mind boomerang into suffering, loss and resentment.
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It is the incessant chatter that we first create, then buy into, that occupies our entire waking life. To have a chance at healing or happiness, we need to create an empty space in the mind, void of thought, judgment and emotion. Acceptance is the door beyond personal achievement, fulfilled desire and fleeting satisfaction. These pursuits are impermanent, shallow, and ultimately hollow.
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Healing is difficult when we entertain the idea that some achievement, some gain, some status, job, career or possession can bring happiness. If you believe happiness is external, something to be gained or achieved, happy will always be a stranger to you.
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Acceptance is the release of believing fulfilled desires, achieving external accomplishment, leads to healing or happiness. Any achievement will not bring lasting happiness, only impermanent emotional joy.
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Our personal gain, achievement may lead to more suffering. Once a goal is achieved, a great promotion, a new car, sparkling jewels, we need to protect them as possessions. The rich man builds tall fences, employs elaborate alarm systems and worries someone may steal his stuff. That job title now is coveted by many younger associates, it bedomes a chore fending off competitors. That lovely marriage has ended in bitter divorce. Once believed the happiest moment, is now a total nightmare.
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Acceptance releases us from the responsibility of external achievement, failure, or results formed by the judgments we postulate about us and them. Again, we must create some empty space, void of judgment, thought, worry and doubt to pursue healing and happiness.
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Accept your flaws first. Yes, we have many perceptions, however we are perfect as our true self, our spirit.
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Life is about the journey, the application of effort and action in the face of distraction, doubt, worry, and fear. Acceptance makes this possible. Acceptance then, is the vehicle that we use to navigate below the ego (conscience mind).
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Internally, if I have surrendered (accepted), relinquished the pursuit of desires as a source of gaining happiness, an empty space of being totally present appears.
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The first hurdle: Accept being vulnerable. Accept all your flaws. Affirmations support accepting us as worthy, complete, perfect. Our chalice overflows with being worthy, we just can not see it or know it yet. All memory can flow through the glasses of self worth, self image. A slightly positive or neutral memory will be read as negative with an unworthy “I”. Daily affirmations, repeated out loud to engage more of the mind will change this.
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Second hurdle:
It is similar to us going to school, where a bully awaits. We need to handle this situation for our school experience to be positive. We need to let go of all those bully judgments we have sentenced our spirit to carry. We have to endure the stressful, the fearful, the core of our distress in this moment: Be it anxiety, PTSD, unworthiness or depression to accept and have a chance at healing and happy.
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We must endure the scary in our life, accept and then take action.
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True acceptance drives the ego underground, exposing this moment in its brilliance for a change. It is the perfect environment to integrate, deepen and live fully.
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Let us compare acceptance with some other ideas.
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Acceptance is not in the past
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Acceptance is not in the future
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Acceptance is not desire.
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Acceptance is not resentment.
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Acceptance is not want.
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Acceptance is not cognitive.
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Acceptance is not owning
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Acceptance is not worrying
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Acceptance is not emotional.
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Acceptance is not labor intense.
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Acceptance is not complex.
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Acceptance is not control.
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Acceptance is not egocentric.
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Acceptance is not thinking.
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Acceptance is not judging.
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On this journey of life, being vulnerable, is a natural part of life, a part we must play to reach the other side. We are vulnerable no matter what judgment we insert to change this fact.
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We are flawed, not perfect, not meant to pursue a perfect life. Flaws abound inside me, but unworthy has left the building, happiness (peace of mind) has taken his place. Results are not our responsibility, effort is our task.
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While working with someone who always used a derogatory, self debasing comment about himself, nothing big, just an under your breath criticism, I found progress stalled. After weeks of imploring him to drop any negative thought, refraining from any verbal negativity, he agreed to comply.
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The next day a shift had occurred, all his oars were now rowing in the same direction. This slight shift released the last remnants of shame, allowing him to empty his mind of judgment finally.
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Acceptance eviserates judgment quickly with practice and application. Small investments in time, blossom in grandeur over a couple of months.
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Desires can be in balance, in proportion, not assuming they contain any real happiness.
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Oh yes, I desire some things, however they have become faint sirens of need next to the calm of acceptance and freedom.
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Practical application and practice:
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Start accepting and vacating judgments that are neutral or slightly positive. My initial practices involved meals, food. I refused to judge my meals. In the beginning, it was actually vacating judgments that occurred before my awareness developed. This cheeseburger “sucks” rushes out of my mouth after the first bite. I can not unring that bell, however I can vacate that judgment. I insert, it is the best burger with the present ingredients available. And then focus on my breath and this present moment.
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Eating a hamburger and then making a judgment, so it could be filed in our computer like memory bank with every other hamburger ingested so far, seemed a colossal waste of time and energy. Who cares? The ego dominates or direct our being when we judge, rank, file, cognitively dissect life.
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“Ego is in charge when we judge. That is not good, not optimal, not a road that leads to peace of mind or happiness.
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Accepting allows us to let go of judgment, of loss, of resentment, of emotion after negative emotion. Accepting harsh criticism, then letting it go, frees up some space for us. That space is where we pursue living fully, finding happiness.
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We are riding the acceptance vehicle, clearing out small spaces of time, accumulating more and more time living in this moment. Every second we stay present and accept, the odds increase for us to find happiness. We then, need to connect more and more present moments to roll that snowball downhill.
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Our basic building block of neuroscience, “What fires together wires together, where we place,our attention grows, where we withhold attention withers and dies.
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Accept, let go, stay present, that snowball gains momentum quickly, powerfully.
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Another practice drill has us scouring our memory bank, directed with awareness, looking through past judgments. Can we drop any judgments we have been carrying like anchors for decades or years. Would we load up a backpack with an extra 100 hollow pounds before a strenuous journey?
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Why carry judgments then?
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I can not emphasize the dramatic change from accepting and letting go. Practice like your mental life depends on it.
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In my opinion, it most certainly does!
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Another drill is to write down each judgment of the day. Look for strong emotions and most likely you will find a strong judgment behind it. Just a guess. Look for irrational fears.
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Explore why you do not apply yourself in life fully. What do you not undertake because of fear of criticism, failure, ridicule, embarrassment, peer pressure, etc.? what could you accept that would allow you to take action.
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Again, life is the pursuit of happiness. Happiness is not what, or where you have been told. Accept being vulnerable, stay present, establish an empty space of now and see what unfolds.
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At work, at school, at a restaurant or public venue, be aware of people who agitate you. Observe why. What about their behaviour agitates you. Agitation has a judgment behind it, really. Look, closer it will reveal,itself.
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Can we vacate these judgments, accept, let go, be present. Be a piece of Swiss cheese and let these judgments flow through the holes. It gets easier with each application. This is an accumulation practice, each action adds up, till we reach that 50/50 tipping point.
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Each time we let go, it grows, becomes stronger, closer to becoming habitual behaviour. Keep moving and letting go and in a short amount of time, dramatic changes occur.
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Alex Lickermanphysical in The Undeafeated Mind weighs in on acceptance:
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“Though the experience of physical pain and emotional pain are clearly different, functional imaging studies show that, with few exceptions, the regions of the brain that these types of pain activate are identical.
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These include not only the regions responsible for giving pain its unpleasant character, but also those responsible for regulating its size, location, and intensity (perhaps partially explaining the startling finding that Tylenol, a centrally acting pain reliever, alleviates not only the pain of a smashed finger but also the pain of hurt feelings.)
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No wonder, then, that physical and emotional pain produce the same reaction: a strong desire to avoid the things that cause them. “Suffer what there is to suffer. Enjoy what there is to enjoy. Regard both suffering and joy as facts of life,” wrote Nichiren Daishonin.
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Yet most of us clearly don’t.
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Unfortunately, the strategies we use to avoid emotional pain often cause more harm than does the experience of emotional pain itself: more harm results, for example, from excessive drinking or drug use than from the anxiety they’re often used to anesthetize; more harm results from relationship sabotage than from the fear of intimacy that often drives it.
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Not only that, but attempting to suppress emotional pain may paradoxically increase it. In contrast, being accepting of emotional pain, being willing to experience it without attempting to control it, has actually been found to decrease it.”
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One response to this post.

  1. I needed this, thank you.

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