Let me state up front that I am not a high being. Far from it.
High beings are those like Ramakrishna, Ramana Maharshi and Neem Karoli Baba. These are people who shed their egos and became close to pure consciousness.
The question I’d ask
But if I were you, someone who I presume is interested in articles I write about traveling the spiritual path, I’d want to ask this question: Of all these things you write about, which work best for you?
The answer is that many work for me. But…
There is one that I find helps me the most. And it is this:
Accepting and not resisting what comes my way.
It’s about acceptance and resistance. I didn’t realize how much this dynamic came into play in my life until I started placing attention on it.
What I learned is that resistance, and please forgive the following inartful words, is a big fat bummer. Over time, it is the ultimate buzz kill of life.
How so? Let’s look at a few examples of resistance to get a better idea of what I mean.
– Your vacation to Hawaii gets screwed up when your flight gets cancelled and you can’t go until the next day. Your seven day trip is now six. Instead of clenching up inside and complaining all day about how unlucky you are and/or how horrible the airline is…you accept it. The flight got cancelled and there is nothing you can do about it. So you accept it.
– You hit a traffic jam, resulting in you missing the first ten minutes of a movie you were really excited to see. Nothing you can do. So instead of being pissed off, you accept it and make the best of it.
– You break your arm slipping and falling in the kitchen. This means no weekly golf game for three months. Nothing you can do. So you accept and don’t resist.
What do all of these examples have in common? Something happened that you have no control over.
Shit happens in life. Flights get cancelled. Traffic jams occur. People break bones.
We have a choice
When that stuff happens, it sets up a choice: Accept or resist. Most people resist, mainly out of sheer habit.
What they don’t know, and this is a main point of this article, is thatresistance causes us a ton of suffering.And the key is that it’s suffering we don’t need to experience.
How do we simply choose acceptance over resistance? First of all, it’s not simple. And it’s not easy. We’ve all been resisting life for as long as we can remember.
A 3-step process
So step one is to simply become aware of this dynamic. Mostly, it’s about becoming aware that we have a choice: accept or resist.
Step two is to commit to working on this. Unless we do that, we won’t succeed in…
Step three is to start practicing. Each time one of these situations arises in your daily life, you simply stop, relax, take a few breaths and then ask yourself, “There’s nothing I can do about this so it’s my choice: I can accept or resist…I’m going to accept.”
The more you practice this acceptance thing, the easier it gets. I can tell you from personal experience.
How accepting has helped me
I’ve gotten markedly better about not complaining when things don’t go my way. Whether it’s hitting red lights, my six-year-old having a meltdown or someone cancelling a tennis match, I now roll with things so much better.
And yes, these might seem like petty life annoyances, but their cumulative effect adds up, in both directions. That is, if we resist all these daily life occurrences, they add up to a ton of negative energy stored in our lower selves. And if we accept them, we feel lighter and more spacious inside.
It’s important to note that accepting doesn’t mean we’re trying to fool ourselves into liking the fact that we broke our arm, etc. No. It sucks. And we don’t like that it happened.
Getting into the no-moan zone
Acceptance merely means that we don’t torture ourselves with needless bitching and moaning about what has befallen us.
Instead of allowing our drama-queen egos to take over, we gather ourselves, take stock of the situation and then respond in a healthy, rational and productive manner.
Acceptance means rolling with life rather than constantly fighting it.
It’s flowing with the current of the river called life rather than exhausting ourselves by always trying to swim upriver.
Eckhart Tolle expressed all this far better than I’m capable. He wrote:
“To offer no resistance to life is to be in a state of grace, ease and lightness. This state is then no longer dependent upon things being in a certain way, good or bad.”
Acceptance produces grace, ease and lightness in our lives. Resistance brings frustration, anger and bad moods.
If you learn only one thing from this article, I hope it’s that you now know that you have a choice. Resistance is not your only option.
Will it take commitment and practice to slowly but surely learn how to accept rather than resist? Yes.
But take it from someone who’s experiencing more grace, ease and lightness in his life: It is so worth the effort.