In the last two blogs we looked more deeply at the Serenity Prayer, ” God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” We first examined the topic of having the courage to change the things we can change. We dug deep to find out if our fears, developed from our early life conditioning and other life experiences have served to limit our courage to change those things we can change. In this blog we will look at accepting those things we cannot change. As with everything in life, the topic of acceptance starts with examining our personal attitude, beliefs and behaviors.
Acceptance of ourselves is the key to a life well lived. Many of us have grown up watching T.V. programs that portray what a perfect personality, size, looks, career, home, family and life is all about. What we may have failed to realize is that there is no such thing. Those were a figment of someone’s imagination – a story that someone made up and sold along the way. When we accept the story line as truth (this is what you need to have or to do to be happy) then add to it the reality of our early conditioning, we may feel that our lives are lacking something or just isn’t that great. Every human being experiences tough times and times of personal doubt. It is a part of living on planet earth. Accepting that perfection in life, or even a life of smooth sailing is not only highly unlikely it simply doesn’t exist helps us gain perspective. The issue then is to decide what is in our overall best interest to accept without resentment or regret and realize that our life is a gift to be grateful for not a burden to be carried.
Through our own effort and with free will we have the power to build on our strengths and change nearly anything in life if we so choose. Likewise, we also have the right to recognizing that we don’t have to meet anyone’s arbitrary standard. Accepting that growth and acceptance is totally within our control we feel more empowered. We are living the life we chose with all of its’ challenges and rewards. Each of us as different as our fingerprints. Once we truly accept our authentic self it speaks volumes to others. We are happy in our own skin and the positive energy we emit attracts more of the same to us like a magnet.
To check yourself on your level of self acceptance ask yourself if it is harder to accept the good in yourself or are you too busy thinking about what you don’t like about yourself? The later view keeps you locked into remorse, anger or resentment which attracts more negative energy and experiences in your life. There may be things that we would like to improve upon but when we allow ourselves to become laser focused on them making them an all encompassing concern we lose sight of the joy in living.
Are we living the life we had planned? Or totally accomplishing those things that we want to do? Maybe or maybe not at this time. But you got up this morning right? You went about your daily tasks and made it through the day. You may have even found a little time help someone or to relax along the way. So the day might have been challenging but it was successful.
To experience more acceptance in our lives we can start by putting things in perspective with a thought from the Buddha, “All that we are is a result of what we have thought.” The good news is that if you read that statement closely it is in the past tense. In other words, today you lived the energy you thought about yesterday. Was it positive accepting energy? You can make tomorrow even better by accepting the lessons you learned today with humility and grace.
Knowing that the Universe doesn’t make mistakes and accepting who you really are, deep down inside, helps us to feel a greater sense of confidence and serenity in life. Acceptance then is about you – first and foremost. When you fully accept yourself you no longer find the need to focus on what you don’t have but are grateful for what you have been able to achieve. We are all doing the best we can and succeeding at it – one human being at a time.
Have a great few days!