Acceptance means seeing things as they actually are in the present moment. Sometimes, we focus on what is wrong and what needs to change. Once I lose 10 lbs., I will buy those pants and feel better in my body. Once my father-in-law heals, I will have more time to work on the house. As soon as I figure out work/life/family balance, I will call that old friend. The system is so unjust, if people could only….. I need a little more money, and then I will…. In our daily lives, we spend energy and create tension by focusing on what is wrong.
Acceptance does not mean we abandon our desire to grow and change, to be healthier and stronger or to fight for justice. It simply means that we are willing to see things as they are. Acceptance means we take a breath…. right here… in this moment…. and see what is happening. What would it feel like? What would it feel like to love yourself just as you are? Just for a moment….
What would it feel like not to be waiting for something else to happen? Just right now….
What would it feel like to let go of the tension, the crease in your forehead? Just for a moment?
Our tension won’t change the situation. Our constriction won’t help our bodies heal. Our negativity won’t make us feel better. Our judgments won’t make it different. We can’t change what is happening, but we can change our relationship to what is happening.
Take a breath, feel your feet on the floor, open your heart, and receive this poem if you will:
“Our true home is in the present moment. To live in the present moment is a miracle. The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the hospital floor in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now. Peace is all around us – in the world – and in nature – and within us – in our bodies and our spirits. Once we learn to touch this peace, we will be healed and transformed. It is not a matter of faith; it is a matter of practice.”
Modified Version of Touching Peace by Thich Nhat Hanh