Accepting Life in Order to Change

acceptanceSpiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle says that dissatisfaction is not a good starting point for changing your life. Our ego may tell us that it is but in fact it isn’t. Rather we need to find a place of acceptance of what is.

The basis for your life is the present moment. He says we must come to an acceptance of this moment as it is. If you are not friendly with life, life cannot support you.

I know that during the hardest and most stressful times of my life I have definitely been struggling against what was. It is this struggle that ultimately digs us in deeper – into the stress, the anxiety, the regret, the anger…

I have definitely experienced the truth of this:  Before we can begin to change we have to make peace with what is. Once I accepted the external circumstances I had created, my actions came from a different place and it was no longer one of resistance. An important point to make here is that acceptance is not the same as approval. I had to accept what was true even though I didn’t approve of it.

I had to accept that:

  • I didn’t get the promotion I wanted for a job I knew I could do given the opportunity (in hindsight it was not the right position for me and my boss made the right call).
  • I had no money and was struggling to pay bills.
  • My self-belief was almost zero.
  • I was exhausted and needed to rest.
  • I had challenging students in my class who I was not coping with.
  • The demountable classroom I was in was not an acceptable learning space but that was where I was going to be for the year – like it or not.
  • I was depressed and had anxiety – maybe the hardest to accept as I couldn’t just “soldier on”.

(I had a lot to accept – this is just a snippet!)

Once I did accept these things (remember I didn’t have to approve of them) and got the rest I needed, I could act to change – with a different type of energy. The acceptance was the change that allowed life to support me in ways that I could not have envisaged (e.g. soon after this radical acceptance, I got the permanent job I desired and so did my husband – on the same day!).

What do you need to accept about your life, personality, family, class, job or colleagues in order to stop the resistance, struggle and suffering to create the change you desire?

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