Saturday, September 21, 2013

Acceptance As A Spiritual Practice

Oh how we love to think we are in control of our destinies; and in the grand scheme of things we are.  But not because we have control over other people, places, and circumstances.  No, we can only control how we see and relate to the world around us.  I, like most people, tend to confuse the two and when that happens I begin to take on too much responsibility and I feel stressed out, usually all in the name of love and service.

Here's how it works for me.  Something big happens in your life and I begin to get all wrapped up in what you need to do to remedy or deal with the situation.  The more involved I get the more "powerful" I think I am and the more I forget that you are powerful too.  Before long I'm trying to solve your problem and I find myself not taking care of my own life.  It's very subtle and often I don't see it happening until I'm knee deep in trying to control your outcomes.

Sigh...  This is where acceptance comes in.  The reason I'm all wrapped up in your situation is because some part of me finds it unacceptable.  I'm judging you and I'm judging your situation.  My purview is limited because I'm reacting to my judgements and in fact I'm probably seeing the situation through my own self judgement and laying it on your situation.  

What if my first reaction is to accept the person, place or situation as being exactly perfect.  Rather than judging it, I can remember that there is a Divine Order to life even in the midst of tradgedy.  What I know from my own life experiences is the things that were the hardest were also the things that helped me grow stronger and shaped me in to the person I am today.   How do I know that the lost job, bad relationship or health challenge isn't exactly the right friction required to bring about the next right thing in your life.

Let's be clear I'm not talking about apathy - apathy is when we suppress our emotions and are indifferent.  True acceptance on the other hand is allowing ourselves to love exactly what is happening in the moment it is happening.  It's trusting that there is a higher order to life.  When we enter into acceptance we make ourselves more available to a myriad of possibility.

Acceptance keeps me right sized and paying attention to how I see the world and the people in my life.   Once I can accept something I can release judgement and approach the situation with real Love.  This is how I master my own destiny, be deciding to see the world through the eyes of Love, to see the higher truth and the perfection in the most imperfect situation.  And therein lies what I'm responsible for  -  just me, my thoughts, my perception and my choices.

I'm always at choice and I choose Love and Acceptance.

Monday, September 2, 2013

I Accept My Responsibility

I just went to see the movie The Butler last night.  It is appalling to me that our society ever treated human beings like we treated black americans in my lifetime.

Growing up white, I can never fully understand what it must have been like to live in a world where one was always considered 'less than'.  But something has been stirred in me.  It's like I want to apologize to every person of color I know despite never having intentionally practiced oppression or racism.

This idea made me think of Ho'oponopono (ho opono pono), an ancient Hawaiian spiritual practice that "corrects, restores and maintains good relationships among family members and with their gods or God by getting to the causes and sources of trouble."   There was a medical professional in Hawaii who practiced this with patients on a ward for the criminally insane; despite never actually meeting with any of the patients Dr. Hew Len was said to have cured the patients by using a version of ho'oponopono.  

Each day Dr. Len would review the files and then practice the ho'oponopono ritual for each person on the ward.  In effect he looked at the data in the file and chose to look passed it, in an attempt to really see each patient.  He was willing to take individual responsibility for believing anything other than the higher truth about each man, the higher truth being that at our core each human being is perfect, whole and complete.  He would then consciously and intentionally repeat the following phrase, "I'm sorry, please forgive me; Thank you, I love you."  

Ho'oponopono starts with the acceptance that if I perceive of the problem then something in me supports it and promotes it.  I must be willing to take an honest assessment and accept my part in the collective consciousness that created the problem, then I can heal it within me and heal my part of the consciousness that created the problem.  

See where I'm going with this?  As a white woman in America I have the power to participate in healing the divide that my ancestors created by actively seeking anything within me that sees less than wholeness in my black brothers and sisters.   Rather than feeling powerless and angry I can approach my feelings from this potent place of possibility simply by being willing to take responsibility for my part, no matter how minuscule, in our human history and then choosing to know a higher truth.

I accept my responsibility, won't you join me?

I'm sorry.
Please forgive me.
Thank you.
I love you.