Self-Acceptance: Resist Nothing

The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism remind us that all suffering comes from resisting what is, having an attachment to needing something different.  In Pema Chodron’s book, “Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears,” states, “We have absolutely no tolerance for uncertainty.”


Yet, life is constantly in flux.  Nothing remains the same.  Therefore, mighten we significantly lessen our suffering by increasing our tolerance for ebb and flow, unpredictable actions of others and whatever we consider problematic?


Ah, but easier said than done?  Indeed.  And worth every moment of practice. 


My recent practice involves noticing my most minute and huge mood shifts and reactions to my interactions with others.  The moment I feel even the slightest tension within me in response to a conversation with someone, I take a pause. 


I then allow myself to become aware of what’s causing the tension: I didn’t like feeling ignored, I feel “less-than” as I listen to someone else’s success, I feel fear . . . . whatever energy, thought or feeling seems to be causing me even the slightest suffering.  I then simply breathe and allow the energy, thought or feeling to be.


Instead of causing myself tension around feeling ignored, thinking I’m “less than” or feeling fear, I simply notice the energy, thoughts or feelings.  When I can give myself a bit of time and breath around the tension, then the tension simply dissipates because I’ve made a conscious choice to allow and accept, rather than resist. 


And then, I don’t spend the next hour, day or lifetime taking action from feeling ignored, “less than” or afraid AND the  tension of not wanting to feel that way!  


Care to join me in this life-affirming practice?


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