Acceptance. It’s not a very big word, not terribly complicated, pretty straight forward really but oh the havoc it wrecks with every single one of us. Acceptance seems to come to the surface in a particularly challenging way during the holidays as we all to often fail to simply appreciate and accept ourselves, our lives, our finances and our relatives exactly as they are.
The consequences of that failure to accept is often a great deal of personal pain, crippling debt when we can least afford it and family strife, arguments and distance. We also add a considerable amount of stress to our bodies which is problematic on a number of levels.
I think most people would agree that they dislike the commercialism of the holidays but it seems impossible to escape. Even if we don’t watch television and we toss out all the weighty advertisements that gorge the daily newspaper and jam the mailbox, it seems that everywhere we look, we are presented with beautiful, glossy images representing abundance in the extreme.
The modern culture of Christmas appears to capitalize on our fears of “not enough” and dictate unreal expectations perhaps rooted in our earliest memories of our Dear Santa wish lists. I doubt that the children writing those Dear Santa letters ever really expected to receive everything they asked for but the asking was all it took to pull our parents into wanting to fulfill every desire, make every wish come true…an idea that every toy store, et al readily promotes.
But we are living in a time of profound change, a time full of possibility as we attempt to regroup, re-evaluate our priorities and negotiate anew on every level of our existence. We have all had to accept changes most of us probably thought we’d never see which of course, can be pretty frightening, so let’s take a deeper look at acceptance and embrace it whole heartedly for all the lovely possibilities it brings to us.
Shifting our gaze from what is not, to what is, quickly followed by what I truly want is an excellent place to begin, as is remembering the original meaning of what we are celebrating. Peace, joy, harmony, health, contentment and love are things I think all people seek and for the most part, they are all available to everyone of us but everything begins with acceptance. Accepting what is frees us to relax, be thankful and appreciative of the life that is ours, whatever that may look like in the present moment. Focusing on what is really important, who is important, what feelings we want to experience within ourselves and how we can cultivate those feelings changes the direction of our thought from external to internal. Taking the time to sit quietly and reflect with gratitude on the presence of the Divine within us and in every life, allows space within for all good feelings to come forward.
If resistance causes suffering, surely it follows that acceptance begets equanimity and peace which is my deepest wish for all people. So I hope you’ll all join me in making acceptance the new theme of the month…and who knows, maybe it will continue on indefinitely and peace will find its way into every heart, every home, every day.
Best wishes for a peace filled holiday season.
Written by Kathleen White