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Acceptance – the key to emotional freedom – Part 3

Sounds abstract? Do you wish you could get more clarity?

A case study

During our daily meditation session, my mind wanders. Ironically, this is a time to practice mindfulness, but various thoughts about my services or gratification of senses flood my mind. The more I try to purge out the undesirable desires, the more they persist, and I suffer.

Practise of Acceptance relieves me:   

Step 1: I ask ‘what is happening now’ and immediately I develop a perception of my present distraction. I am aware my mind is wandering.

Step 2: I don’t criticize myself for what happened. I merely acknowledge, ‘these are thoughts’ or ‘I am thinking of enjoying a nice feast.’ Since I didn’t blame myself for the mind’s wandering, I save additional pain.

Step 3: I gently prod my mind to come back to the chanting- ‘I now listen to the mantra’ or ‘I am present.’

Acceptance requires practice. Practise makes it a habit, and soon, we’ll undoubtedly learn to negotiate with the mind better during painful situations.

Is Acceptance lazy resignation?

NO! Just as standing on the bank of a river, you could see the water gracefully flow downstream; similarly, you let your emotions run through you without offering resistance or fighting it.

The reason why Acceptance is challenging to explain is that it’s not a cognitive- the head- process. It’s more to do with your whole existence – it’s about your feelings, attitude, mood, and body. And without accepting your pain, if you merely try some positive thinking tools, it’s like the ostrich’s head in the sand approach- your denial would only allow the pain to grow within and eventually, it could consume you.

Instead, for a change, try Acceptance.

Acceptance doesn’t mean you like the painful situation you are in. It merely means you give the pain your permission to stay. You can’t do anything about it right now. It’s a reality. So you allow and accept it. Counter-intuitively, once you accept your suffering, you stand a good chance of transcending it. But remember, if you think it’s a tool to overcome the pain, then it’s not Acceptance. You accept it without any other agenda. 

To be continued….

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