It is really unbelievable to come to a realization that nearly every moment, I am not accepting fully what is already here in my space. Let’s not even mention about unpleasant experiences as without any iota of doubt, who of a sane mind would want to stay even a second longer to experience what is of a discomfort. True, there are moments where we simply face what is already here for us; like for instance, a toothache, or a serious physical illness; but then again, even during those moments of agony while facing what is, there is deep resistance going on in the mind, having the hope that the pain will end. This is not acceptance, but rather tolerance with expectation going on with it.
It may sound strange to you if I were to say that even at the very peak of happiness, in moments of exhilarating joy, there is still no full acceptance of what is going on. Do hold a minute, if you beg to differ. You can only see this reality if you were to look into the mind in a very honest way else what is on the surface of your experience does not really tell you the truth. As someone pointed out to me lately, who on earth would like to interrupt the happiness he or she is experiencing and bring out the truth that may jeopardize the good experience? So ignorance is bliss, eh?
If you are a seeker of truth, and really wish to know how this mind works because of the numerous times it has played tricks on you, you would surely like to go to the bottom of the truth, and nothing else, but the truth. If you do not experience this truth going on in you, it can be logically explained as this truth has many a times, simply missed your attention.
Have you ever come across moments that whenever you are experiencing something joyful, there is this very need within you wishing that this feeling will last forever, if not at least a little longer? Even if this feeling does not come out as obvious as it would be, surely there are also thoughts that you already know that this feeling will end, probably soon? Or if both of these too are not what you get, what about experiences of wanting to hold on to that happy feeling? Even liking that feeling is already a show sign of holding on, of wanting more. Check out the next time you feel happy and I am sure any of those will become obvious to you.
Now you may ask what’s the big deal? So long as there is any of the above, you are not fully accepting what is already given to you in the present! There is a true case of a friend who feels very much afraid that her husband will leave her. Not that there is any issue or problem that is already in existence with their relationship as she is indeed experiencing the goodness of life with him, coupled with the blessings of having two beautiful children. But she sadly admitted that there is this lingering fear in the background that it will be a matter of time before she lose all these experiences. Hence in the midst of happiness, she is actually going through a nightmare!
Isn’t this strange? In fact, if you were to look into your mind, this is how the mind operates! It is constantly coming from the ignorance of lack. I read an interesting phrase in ACIM* that says: “Lack implies that you would be better off in a state somehow different from the one you are in.” How true! When you do not accept fully what is already here in your experience you are already implying that you would, in your mind, be better off without it, as the fear you are already having is showing that you are not fully embracing the experience! Lack and fear comes hand-in-hand together, sad to say. Fear implies that what is already here is not good enough, whatever the situation is.
The point to make is that acceptance is a rare asset. In fact in all forms of true acceptance, there is wisdom accompanying it. Obviously we lack in that, as by default, the mind runs on ignorance until we come to realize that. It will startle you to know that while in the midst of pain and if you were to bring in full acceptance to it, making sure that your attitude has no resistance in it, you will be blessed with the experience of non-pain! Try it out with itchiness and you will get what I mean, even if you were to experience it for just a brief moment before your habitual scratching catches up with you!
The beginning of spiritual maturity comes with acceptance, accepting what is.
*A Course in Miracles