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Weekly Mindfulness Support Blog - Acceptance is Hard - Not!

Updated: Apr 4

Hello and welcome to this glorious Friday, April 02, 2021. Today is a rare and precious day that will never come again.


I’m participating in an eight-week Mindfulness in Recovery course and this week’s topic is wise acceptance. With wise acceptance, we stop arguing with the reality of a situation and approach it in solution mode – with optimism and an open heart. Byron Katie suggests that, "When we argue with reality we lose, but only one-hundred percent of the time."


This last Sunday I had the opportunity to do a “dry run” for my school bus route which started on Monday – we make sure all the stops are safe and that the timing is accurate. When I returned, I was given my paycheck. I tucked it between my clipboard and fingers rather than attaching it to the top so it wouldn’t get mixed in with all of my other driving paperwork. I chatted with my boss for a few minutes, turned in my routing documentation and headed out the door. When I got to my car, I realized that my paycheck went missing.


I felt an immediate rush, a sense of panic, and started to frantically look around my car for my check. Within moments, however, a thought arose advising me that I need to accept this situation. My mind didn’t like this idea at first. Nevertheless, I took a couple deep breaths and stopped arguing with the reality that I lost my check. This Mindfulness stuff really does work.


Accepting that I lost my paycheck in no way suggests I stopped looking. It simply means that I started looking for my check with a positive and optimistic attitude. If I didn’t find my check, I knew everything would be fine. I realized that if I couldn’t find it, the company would cancel that check and issue me new one. Simple. The pressure was off. Under the influence of anxiety, stress, and tension, our vision of every imaginable outcome is negative. Free of the tension, I continued to look for my check. After retracing my steps, a couple of times, I ended up finding it under my boss’s chair. We laughed for a moment and then I left with a more mindful grip on my check.


I have talked to many people lately who say that acceptance is hard. There was a time when I would have agreed. But no more. Acceptance is not hard. What is difficult is experiencing all the emotions and turmoil that are associated with unacceptance. When we don’t accept life on life’s terms, we are overcome with frustration, dissatisfaction, disappointment, aggravation, and often infuriation. There is nothing easy about living a life of defiance. Because it is hard to live a life of opposition, what we futilely tend to do is try to create a world that is acceptable to us – a world where everything goes our way. Aka, no challenges. Well, this is just unrealistic.


Regardless of how hard we try to avoid them, at some point we will be met with challenges. Instead of arguing with and trying to circumvent inevitable difficulties, through wise acceptance we can learn to adjust to the current reality, whatever it is, and approach it in a way that not only feels good, but more important, in a way that we feel good about. When we meet our challenges with optimism, the result is sure to be far more beneficial to all involved.


We are going to be met with challenges and difficulties, this is the nature of life. How do you want to meet them?...With opposition, defiance, and resistance? Or do you want to meet your challenges with understanding, optimism, and hopefulness? With practice, the choice can be up to you.


You are Loved by me, Unconditionally!

Dan

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