Learn about how to have the peace of mind that acceptance can give you. Hello, I’m Dr. Wendy Hill. I have been studying how to be happy throughout my life. Here is one of the keys to that peace of mind: acceptance.
One of the more difficult lessons you are learning is acceptance. Everything in life is constantly changing. Since it is human nature to resist change, everything in life is a lesson in acceptance. Non-acceptance of yourself, of conditions, of others leads to much pain. When you do not accept something, your mind automatically fights to make it as you would want it. This creates an internal struggle, a battleground within yourself that robs you of your peace of mind. This is a main cause of unhappiness in human beings. Humans are typically at war with themselves and with the world.
The non-acceptance begins with non-acceptance of the self. This starts very early when you as a child believed that to please others, you had to be something you were not. Indeed, perhaps your parents were at such war within themselves that they could not accept others as they were, including you. This led to your mistaken thought that you are not acceptable. You began to criticize yourself. You did this automatically and without knowing what you were doing. It seemed natural to you to be at war within yourself. The one thing you did accept was your non-acceptance of yourself. Though you may have told yourself many times in the past how much you do accept yourself, deep down you have regarded yourself with shame. This shame is also a part of the human condition. It is what traditional Christian dogma calls original sin. It is the shame that comes with non-acceptance of the self. Each one of us confronts the dragon of this human shame as we evolve in our consciousness.
This shame is the core of all non-acceptance in life. As you cannot accept yourself, you extend this lack of acceptance out to others and outer conditions. If you cannot accept your aging, you cannot accept aging in others. If you cannot accept your weaknesses, you cannot accept weakness in others. If you cannot accept your own imperfection, you cannot accept imperfection in others. Here is the core of criticism, verbal abuse, physical abuse, and compulsions. It is a reflection of the war within the self. Your criticism of others is a direct reflection of your criticism of yourself. Your disdain and disgust for others reflects your disdain and disgust for yourself. Even if it seems to you that you do not have that other person’s “problem”, something about their personal expression reminds you of your own personal expression. For example, you are disgusted at another person cheating someone else. You may say to yourself that you would never do that and indeed you may never do that particular act. Yet, the inner shame that caused that person to cheat may be the same inner shame you experience. You recognize the feeling and respond with judgement. You are disgusted at yourself. You spontaneously recall the shame toward yourself as you see the other’s shame. Others are mirrors of you. How you feel about others is a direct reflection of yourself. It is easy to tell when another’s behavior is not a reflection of you. Your reaction will be very different. Instead of feeling critical, you may feel sad, compassionate, or frustrated at the blindness of others, but never judgmental or condemning.
Non-acceptance is also expressed by not accepting outer conditions. For example, you may not accept the traffic, the weather, your degree of material wealth, a change in working conditions, a law, or the timing of some event. The list goes on. Some people are so non-accepting of the condition of their own world, they do not know a moment of peace. They are constantly in turmoil and, unfortunately for others, complain about how awful things are. Again, non-acceptance of all outer conditions is a reflection of non-acceptance of the self.
Once you realize that your non-acceptance of others and all outer conditions is a reflection of you, you will be more willing to take responsibility. Instead of wanting to change others, you will be eager to change yourself. You will see that criticizing others is criticizing yourself. Hurting others is the same as hurting yourself. An unkind word to another, is an unkind word to yourself. A disgusted feeling toward another is a disgusted feeling toward yourself. Your peace of mind relies on your willingness to see this and learn the lesson of acceptance.
Acceptance does not mean that you should not attempt to change things. It may be appropriate, even virtuous, to change conditions. For example, it may be right for you to strive to improve your financial situation, right a social wrong, correct a bad law, or educate others to make for better living conditions. Acting does not always imply non-acceptance. Your desire to correct a social wrong need not reflect your own inner disgust or shame, but can reflect instead your compassion for social blindness. Your desire to improve your financial situation need not reflect your shame at not being enough, but instead reflect your willingness to take responsibility for yourself. You may choose to act or remain passive. What is important is your own inner feeling about yourself. Are you at peace or are you at war? Strive to accept yourself and all other people and conditions. When you do, all your actions will be based on compassion and understanding. Two people may attempt the same deed, yet it is the one who accepts himself and others that accomplishes the most, for he teaches love, the other simply teaches action motivated by shame.
Take yourself into a deep and receptive meditation. Tell yourself that your mind will alert you whenever you have a non-accepting critical thought. Tell yourself that automatically you will turn that thought into one of acceptance. Say, “That person is doing the best they can at this moment. They do not realize their own goodness. They do not mean to cause harm. They are doing the best they can. I accept them as they are. I can change them only by changing myself. I am at peace within myself. I am doing the very best I can at this moment. I know that I am growing. I accept myself as I am right now knowing that I am always changing. I am changing for the better. I am innocent. I am good. I am loved. I am safe. I accept myself with all my limitations. My limitations are human. I accept my humanness. I accept. I accept.” Now, allow your meditation to guide you. Repeat this meditation often. This exercise will automatically lead to inner peace. It will open doors of love and abundance. You are on the path of the master.
Learn more about acceptance and other important keys to happiness at www.wendyhill.com or call Dr. Wendy at 760-994-9296.