Acceptance

What would it be like to be completely committed to this present reality? Because, that’s actually what we are experiencing right now…If we want to improve a situation, we should go for that…but if we’ve already accepted things as they are, then any efforts toward improvement could…be experienced as play.”

-Bruce Tift

How can I simultaneously surrender to my current situation and also work toward something better, deeper, more whole, healthy or true? I always struggled to reconcile these inherently contradictory concepts of passively accepting my present reality and actively working toward improvement.

When Bruce Tift asks us what it would be like to completely commit to our present reality, he is not asking us to disconnect from our lives. On the contrary! He is asking what it would be like to be completely committed—internally and externally—to our situation, to see it, taste it, feel it, to be with all of it.

Truthfully, what other choice to we have? To say yes to some notion of the way we or others or our situation should be? We could try that, and for many of us, that is exactly what we have been doing for years. But, ask yourself, is it working?

Sometimes the notions are easier because the truth of ourselves or our situation are quite painful and challenging. And, far too often, we have the idea that once we embark upon the spiritual path, our lives will be easier.

This isn’t necessarily so. What changes aren’t the circumstances of our lives. What changes is the shift in our perspective.

The shift is that gradually we stop looking at the present reality as something wrong or broken or flawed. It simply is. We can look at it from all angles, examine it, and be with it, even with all its challenging and painful dimensions.

We also recognize that resolution is not necessarily possible. Our restlessness with life’s apparent contradictions eases as we recognize that it is upon these questions and issues that life is built. It isn’t neat and tidy, but it is real. And, perhaps in asking these questions, we can live the truth of our spiritual path in every moment.

Today, I encourage you to look at your life. Ask yourself if you can really accept your current reality. If not, why? Be honest with yourself. Drop into yourself and the truth of your experience. Because it’s all there is. And, in this truth, there is freedom.

Here is a guided meditation directed toward acceptance of our lives.

Blessings

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