As we go through life, we often contribute to a bumpier ride than is necessary by resisting or fighting against reality, against life. We torture ourselves by being unhappy about our job, family situations, financial situations, and more. In the past or future, we turn to outward things, possessions, people, and events, seeking fulfillment and peace. All the while, the source of the greatest peace is already within each of us.
The one thing we have control over which has the greatest potential to change how we perceive reality is our attitude of either acceptance or resistance. To accept means to receive gratefully, to agree with what was given, and receive the gift in it, the hidden wisdom or experience to behold. To resist means to fight, oppose, or not agree with what is in front of you or being offered. When we accept life as it comes to us, we flow gracefully with it, enjoying or at least being at peace with the ride. When we resist life, we exhaust energy and peace while trying to swim upriver or trying to change the direction of the river. On the one hand, we become in harmony with what is, with what life deals us, and on the other, we become out of tune and the creator of our own hell.
For any event or experience that life brings you, the amount of suffering or peace accompanying you comes down to either accepting it or resisting it. To resist it is to prolong the suffering by wanting to deny what happened, to want things to be different than they are, but at the same time not being able to change what happened. We then become our own torturers by continually reliving what happened and hoping for a different outcome, only to open our eyes and not like what we see. Since we only have control over ourselves but don’t really have control of what happens around us or to things outside of us, not to accept what happens, what is, is to deny reality and live in a dream world while continually being awakened to the nightmare perception we create. The nightmare ends when we accept what happened and what is and make peace with it, allowing it to flow through us instead of creating a blockade of torture within us.
Above all, accept yourself fully and completely just as you are. If you are a subscriber of Christianity, consider the words of Jesus from Matthew 5:48 “Be ye therefore perfect.” The Greek word “perfect” was translated from here, meaning “whole,” “complete,” and “wanting in nothing.” There’s no better way to realize this state of “perfect” than to accept yourself just as you are, flaws and all. Through this selfless and non-judgmental self-acceptance and love, you’ll gain the clarity to enact any desirable character changes that merit it. But that change only comes from accepting them and yourself just as you are. Without accepting, you are resisting, and through your resistance, you are unknowingly feeding the perpetuation of those “flaws.”
From the non-judgmental acceptance of self point of view, accepting others just as they are and dispelling judgment becomes more natural and easy. This plays into the “Golden Rule” of not judging and treating others as you would prefer to have them do to you. Any perceived control or influence you think you may have over others is an illusion. Whether “others” be family, friends, acquaintances, or strangers, they will choose, act and do what they will despite most of your efforts. Instead of resisting and fighting the choices and actions of others, you don’t agree with, and likely creating a continued state of disappointment in yourself towards others, accept them as autonomous equal beings. So long as their actions and choices are not being forced upon you directly, what is it to you to allow them to be themselves? Truly accepting and embracing the diversity and individuality of humanity awakens you to the beautiful collage that is life and nature.
Accept the situations, experiences, and curve balls life deals with you. Whether you’ve lost a loved one, been laid off, or suffered an injury, accepting it without judgment or labels can transform any event from one of only hardship or suffering into an experience filled with wisdom and growth. Through acceptance, you’ll have better clarity to navigate and pass through it without sabotaging your peace or potentially increasing your suffering. Resistance usually has the effect of perpetuating undesirable suffering.
Accept the events of the past to gain the wisdom they hold and then let them go into the records of history as a learning experience. Holding onto the past, or in other words, resisting what happened, generally perpetuates the guilt, anger, or other emotions involved or caused by the now-gone event and can even result in the past repeating itself. Accept the future as being mostly unknowable and accept that the future can’t save you from the current moment in which all of life is lived. Accept that the current moment is the only true position of power and happening and live it to the fullest.
When we flow with life by accepting instead of resisting, we more quickly learn life’s lessons, experience more peace, and have more harmony in our relationships with others and nature. We see others as extensions of ourselves instead of “them” that need concurring. Life is then seen as something that happens for us instead of against us.