Acceptance is a state of consciousness.   We cultivate acceptance when we accept life as it is and people as they are.  We don’t have to like something to accept it. The more we accept life as it unfolds with all its polarities – light and dark, good and bad, up and down, persona and shadow – the more we begin to create integration and cohesion within the psyche. 

Opposite States of Consciousness:  Rejection, Denial, Resistance, Projection.  When you reject something, react in fear, or project your thoughts and feelings onto others, you create division in the psyche and conflict in the world.

The Teaching

Acceptance is the door to love without conditions.   Without the practice of acceptance, only conditional love is possible.  You accept only what supports your ego structure and reject or resist everything else.  What you reject or resist comes back to haunt you.   It challenges you to open your heart and your mind. 
     Life is forever asking you for acceptance.  You might not like something.  You may be threatened by it.   You may be triggered.   But there it is staring you in the face.  Try to push it away or bury it and it comes back stronger.  
     What you accept becomes integrated.  The part is absorbed into the whole.  But what you do not accept is like a wedge that would divide the whole into thousands of pieces.  Acceptance leads to integration.  Lack of acceptance leads to separation and division.  
     it is a common misconception that you must like something to accept it.   Liking something means that your ego structure is not threatened by it.   When you like something it is easy to accept it.  But acceptance does not become a spiritual virtue until someone or something you don’t like shows up.  That is when your ego is challenged.   That is when your spiritual work begins. 
     When faced with what you do not like, simply allow it to be.  Do not fight it. Do not resist it.  Do not try to make it go away.  Do not run away and hide from it. Simply see it and acknowledge it.  Say “this is something that triggers me” or “this is something I have trouble accepting.” 
     Only when you acknowledge lack of acceptance does accepting something you do not like become possible.  But acknowledging is just the beginning of a process that leads to acceptance. 
     Once you acknowledge the difficulty, you ask “how can I be with this? How can I be present with the feelings that are coming up without resisting, defending or running away?   How can I get my arms around it?  How can I see it in a different way, not as an attack or a punishment, but as an opportunity to grow and deepen my capacity to love?”
     The irony is that acknowledging your lack of acceptance is the path toward acceptance.  When you see that you do not accept, that there is something you react negatively to, you are forced to look at your shadow.  You are asked to see your shame or fear directly.  
      We think that shame and fear are bad, but they are not bad.  They are just unintegrated aspects of consciousness and experience, parts of ourselves we have not yet learned to love.  They are coming up now, because it is time for us to open our hearts and minds and embrace all of who we are.
     We need to understand that others are mirrors for us.  When we push them away because we feel triggered or threatened, we are also pushing away unintegrated aspects of ourselves that they mirror to us. 
     We need to embrace the little child within who feels angry or sad.  We cannot continue to abandon him, even though he is not very “likeable.”  He is filled with fear and shame. He hides from us or lashes out. We feel disconnected from him already. Pushing him away, not answering his call for love, just makes matters worse.
     Everyone who triggers us gives us the opportunity to bring love to the child within.  By accepting others as they are, even when they behave badly, we are telling the child that we can accept him too, even when he is reacting in fear, raging out or withdrawing into his dark cave.
     Bringing acceptance to what happens creates safety for the child within.  It lets him know that he is not alone and that nothing that he has said or done can cut him off from our love.
     It is through our acceptance and love that the child is reborn out of pain.   Ours is a journey of emotional healing.   Everyone of us travels this path.  There is no one here who has not been wounded or does not need to heal.
     All have been betrayed, ostracized, abandoned.  And all must be led out of fear and shame back to our original innocence.

The Practice

Today, see what you cannot accept, what you resist, judge, fear and turn away from.  You think of this as “other,” or outside of you, but it is really a reflection of something inside that you are unable to embrace
     When you accept and bring love to your shadow self, integration happens in the psyche.  Divergent and discordant aspects of self come back together. You become more whole. 
     So today bring love and acceptance to the child within.  Do not reject or abandon him/her.  Realize that others who trigger you are mirroring back to you parts of yourself that have split off and need to be integrated.  When you bring acceptance and love, integration and healing happen.
      So today, let this be your prayer: “Allow me to see the parts of myself that I have not yet learned to love.  Allow me to open my heart to my own fear and shame so that I can walk through the door you would open to me.  Allow me to know and understand that no part of me is bad or unredeemable.  Allow me to see and accept my brothers and sisters as they are, for they are experiencing the same psychological division and emotional pain that I am.”
     Today learn to see what you have difficulty accepting without looking through the lens of fear and shame.  Have the courage to be present with the circumstances that challenge you.   Being aware of what you do not accept is the doorway to acceptance.  So don’t beat yourself up with this awareness. Use it to bring love to the child within who feels abandoned or rejected. 
     Notice when others do not accept you or are triggered by something that you say or do.   Do not react to their rejection of you by rejecting them.  That will not make it easier for you to accept yourself or to accept them.  Accept that they do not accept you.  Accept that they are triggered, that they have fear or shame coming up and be gentle with them as you would be gentle with your own child.

Journaling Questions

What is the most difficult thing for me to accept? Have I learned to accept some person or situation that i do not like or that has triggered me in the past?

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