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Friday, October 29, 2010

The Greatest Gift of All

A few years ago, I was introduced to a concept that was completely foreign to me. A concept that I had never practiced and virtually none of the people I associated with had practiced either.

We were fighters. Competitors. We had fought our way all through life. In as much as we survived, I suppose we thought it had worked. So when I was first introduced to the concept of acceptance, I made a mental note of it. That's about it. Over the past few years, I have practiced it much more rigorously. I have implemented acceptance in many areas of my life. It wasn't until this past week that I fully grasped the enormity of and most importantly, the power and strength of acceptance.

Quite honestly, I don't think I can overstate this.

Imagine being given the solution to every problem in your life. A spiritual solution with no side effects. Complete and utter acceptance of all things. Of all situations. Is that possible?

I had occasion this past week to speak with a number of people that had suffered through every calamity imaginable, deaths, deaths of loved ones, deaths of pets, marriage, and job loss. The usual vehicle failures, car wrecks, lack of money, and lesser events. The speakers could not reconcile these things. They felt guilt and shame. But the one common denominator, it was absolutely striking, was that none of these speakers had gained any level of acceptance. They were fighting, wishing things had not gone the way that they did. Still trying to control the outcome of an event that had passed.

A power greater than myself. A power greater than any of us or all of us. Life itself. There is no stopping it. You can struggle, fight, runaway, but all of those things won't change anything.
Chances are, they will make things worse. In fact, they almost always do.

As I evaluated what I had heard, I realized that there was a whole new level of acceptance I had not considered. I began to realize that any problem we have, real or imagined, is a matter of acceptance...and always a matter of acceptance. That in fact, includes the possibility of our loved ones dying and even our own deaths.

All that struggling, fighting, condemning, anger, self pity, complaining... are all manifestations of our inability to accept whatever life deals us and move on. That all of the struggling and fighting we do is really unnecessary. We glorify struggling and fighting. We attach it to victory, indeed to the human spirit. We believe fighting and struggle is necessary. Is it? Or is it just one of those faulty belief systems that we have bought into?

I think acceptance may be the key to all of life's problems. It might have always been that simple.

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