Acceptance is not Resignation

April 20, 2009

In previous posts we have looked at the idea of acceptance.  In our search for what acceptance means we have looked at a few things it is not.  Acceptance is not agreement, nor is it approval or condoning.  Today we look at the idea that acceptance is not resignation.

 

Acceptance is not passive

Many times people think that I am describing a passive behavior when I talk about learning acceptance.  Sometimes they think acceptance is similar to letting things run over us because we have no other choice.

 

I see acceptance as being a very active behavior.  When we are totally accepting of what is going on around us we are in the moment.  For me, acceptance and being in the moment are synonymous.  You may not be doing anything physically when you are in the moment, but your mind is totally occupied with what is happening to you at that particular moment.

 

Resignation is passive

I view resignation as a very passive behavior.  I “resign” myself to accepting something because I think that I have no other choice.  I can’t seem to do anything about the situation so I must resign myself to the situation.

 

This is not being accepting.  Neither is it being in the moment.  It is actually fighting the moment.

 

Consider this.  When I am fighting with the situation I am not in the moment.  I am resisting the situation.  I have an attachment to the way that I would like to see the situation.  I am allowing that attachment to fuel my resistance to the situation.

 

Resistance is always a sign that I am out of the moment – and have an attachment.  I fight the situation so long that I eventually seem to give in.  I “resign” myself to the situation.  I still have not given up my attachment – I have just decided to stop fighting for now.

 

Resignation just means that I want to maintain both my attachment and my resistance to the current situation.  I “resign” myself to the current situation because I am tired of fighting – for now.  Because I still have the attachment I will return to the fight as soon as I have rested up a bit and seen a new way to continue the battle.

 

The next time

Please remember to take a look at this idea the next time you “resign” yourself to a situation.  Are you truly giving in and accepting the moment because you have learned to accept the situation?  Or are you “resigning” yourself to the situation because you want to continue to hold on to your attachments?

 

In the long run it does not matter which you do.  Either way you will learn how it is best for you to handle the situation.

 

The sooner we learn true acceptance the sooner we will learn to live without fear and pain.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

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Denial Keeps Us From Healing

March 2, 2009

Last week I mentioned Jessica Unmani King several times.  I am still getting ideas for my writing from the interactions that I had with Unmani last week.  One of the ideas that was talked about in last Tuesday’s conference call was “denial energy does not allow us to heal”.  We look at that idea today.

 

Welcome back

I trust everyone had a safe and happy weekend.  It looks like the saying “March come in like a lion and goes out like a lamb” will be true in this part of the northeastern US.  It looks like we will start the month with about 12 inches of snow.  No complaints here, just the facts, ma’am.

 

What is denial?

The easiest way that I have found to explain denial is that we are not accepting the current situation.  When we are in denial we are saying to our selves, and sometimes to those around us, that we do not like the mess that we are in and want something else.

 

There is nothing wrong with the basic premise of that thought.  What is missed many times is that we do not want to look at the current situation – we just want to change it.  By not wanting to look at the current situation we are in denial of it.

 

It will happen again

One of the drawbacks from just changing the current situation – without fully accepting it – is that we will cause it to happen again.  When we wave the magic wand and make the situation go away without examining it, we never truly understand why and how we created the situation in the first place.  By not understanding those reasons we lose some very valuable lessons.

 

We can change the current situation all we want, but until we accept and understand the current situation we will eventually come back to it.  When we do not understand why we have created the current situation we cannot help but wind up back in the exact same spot in the future.

 

Denial keeps us from healing

This is why denial keeps us from healing.  When we are in denial we are not accepting the current situation.  We want to magically change the situation, so we wave our magic wand.  We magically change the situation, but two years down the road we are back in the same spot.

 

Let’s take a concrete example.  We are overweight.  We find a magic diet that allows us to lose that 50 pounds that we have wanted to lose for years.  However, by only changing our eating habits we did not look at the underlying anxiety that caused us to be overweight in the first place.

 

We were in denial of the anxiety.  We were afraid to look at them.  Eventually that anxiety was more powerful than the new found enthusiasm for the magic diet.  Eventually that anxiety edged out the change in habit that caused us to lose weight.  Now, two or three years later, we are back to our old weight because we were in denial of the true cause of our situation.

 

That is a relatively simple look at how denial keeps us from healing.  Hopefully you can sees how this works in your life.  As always, if you have a question or comment – please send it in so that our other readers can benefit from you thoughts.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

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Talking About Vocabulary: Love

February 19, 2009

Over the years I have developed a slightly different vocabulary.  I have looked at a lot of the standard words used in spiritual reference and have chosen to use them in a slightly different manner.  Sometimes I have put more clear definitions on words; sometimes I do not use a particular word at all.  Today we hear about the word love.

 

Love and Acceptance

Those who have been reading my writings know about my preference to not use the word love.  For those of you who are new to this idea – I hope you find the discussion interesting.

 

I choose not to use the word love because it tends to be too ambiguous.  It seems that everyone has their own definition of what the word “love” means.  Because of this, one has a very difficult time defining and discussing what is meant by this word.  We wrote about this in a previous column.

 

Over the years I have come to use the word “acceptance” rather than the word love.  For me, I find this to be a much easier concept to describe.  It is also a much more concrete goal.  When I say that I strive to accept everyone in my life it is much easier for me to understand that goal.

 

As we look at the idea of acceptance, we get into a discussion of agreeing with what we accept.  Agreement and acceptance are two different things, which we also heard about in another previous column.  Acceptance means that we acknowledge what we understand as the reality of the situation.  We don’t have to like the situation – we just have to accept it.

 

Unconditional

More recently, I have been using the term unconditional love.  In my humble opinion, this also describes the concept of love more exactly.  By adding that one word – “unconditional” – we are clearly defining the concept of acceptance.

 

Unconditional love means that we are accepting each other as we are.  We are saying that I accept you without any judgment.  I accept you for who you are at this moment – not who or what I think you should be.

 

It’s not easy

Most people define themselves as loving people.  Even people who commit crimes of murder or political oppression see themselves as acting out of love for the people whom they love.  A dictator decides to kill thousands of people who are “enemies of the state” because they love the rest of the people who are not enemies of the state.

 

I find it is much more difficult to be accepting and practice unconditional love.  It is much easier to marginalize someone who is not like me and only accept those that are like me.  This is why I do not use the word love – I challenge myself to love unconditionally by using the terms “accept” and “unconditional love”.

 

The Challenge

So now, I challenge you to do the same.  Redefine your concept of “love” by always using the either the words “acceptance” or “unconditional love”.  In time you will learn a lot more about “love” than you ever thought was possible.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

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The Bull Doesn’t Care if You Are a Vegetarian

February 2, 2009

Today’s post looks at two aspects of this idea.  The first is that the bull is going to do what he is supposed to do.  We need to accept what the bull does.  The second aspect is that we do things because they need to be done – not what we expect to get from them.

 

The inspiration

Today’s post was inspired by a song sung by Annabella Wood at the Circle of Miracles in Doylestown, PA a few months ago.  One of the lines in the song talked about the fact that the bull does not care of we are a vegetarian – he is going to protect his space by charging you if he needs to do so.

 

At the time I thought this was quite a humorous concept.  I have thought about the idea several times over the last few months and have seen two different ways to look at this idea.  I am sure there are more ways to look at it.  Please submit a comment with your perspective on this idea.

 

The universe is going to do what it needs to do

The first way that I saw to look at this idea was that all too often we say to the universe “Stop!  I don’t like what is happening so you need to stop.”  Even after we are run over by the universe countless times, some of us never understand that the universe is going to do what it needs to do.  It will run us over when we stand in the way.

 

The trick is to be accepting.  We need to recognize that if we get in the bull’s space the bull will feel threatened.  He is going to charge at us in order to get us out of his space.  He does not care if we are vegetarian.  He does not care how spiritual we are.  His job in the universe at that moment is to protect his space – so he charges us.  We need to accept that – and not take it personally.

 

We do what we do without attachment to the outcome

Another way that I saw to interpret today’s idea is that we often get attached to the outcome of what we do.  Sometimes we fall into thinking that as long as we are being spiritual then only “good” things will happen to us.  If something “bad” happens it is because we were not spiritual enough.

 

Once again, if we are in the bull’s space he does not care if we are a vegetarian.  He is too busy protecting his space to ask us if we like to eat red meat.  All he knows is that he is responsible for protecting that space so he charges at us.

 

Did we become a vegetarian to keep from being charged by a bull?  Probably not.  However – why did we become a vegetarian?  Why did we decide to pursue a spiritual path?  What outcomes do we expect to see from those choices?  How attached are we to those outcomes?

 

Just like the bull not caring if we are a vegetarian, the universe does not really care if we are spiritual.  It is not going to stop doing what it needs to do just because we have an attachment to what our spirituality thinks it should be.

 

Once again the trick is to be accepting of the universe.  We may have an idea of what we think will happen as we become more spiritual.  However, we must at all times release any attachments to what we think that “should be”.

 

We must be open minded and accepting of the universe when it runs us over.  We pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and start learning what we missed in our thinking that caused the universe to run us over.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

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The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

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Learning to Like Ourselves

December 23, 2008

Today we look at the importance of learning to like ourselves.  This is an extension of the ideas we looked at yesterday about not taking ourselves too seriously.  I found that learning to like myself was difficult.  Maybe my experience can help you avoid some of the difficulties I experienced.

 

Learning to accept ourselves

A few months ago I wrote about how I had finally come to like myself.  In this post I talked about the importance of accepting ourselves with all of our faults as well as all of our positive qualities.  The prelude to liking ourselves is accepting ourselves.

 

Many of us believe all of the criticisms that people disparaged us with from the time that we were children.  We have created our view of ourselves based on those criticisms and perceived shortcomings.  We have come to believe all the “bad” things that people have told to us about ourselves.

 

By believing these criticisms we have learned to believe that we are all those “bad” things that people have said that we were.  Let’s take a quick look at that.

 

First, the people who have denigrated us have been coming from their false self.  Why should we agree with what their false self thinks of us?

 

Second, by accepting and agreeing with these criticisms we are agreeing that we have more negative traits than positive traits.

 

Third, all of these criticisms describe our false self.  By agreeing with the criticisms we agree that we are our false self.  This only continues the false self tyranny over our life.

 

Finally, the only way that we can overcome our negative traits is to understand and emphasize our positive characteristics.  When we think that we cannot change our negative traits we are denying the power of our true self.

 

Accepting does not mean liking

A few months ago I wrote a post showing the difference between accepting something and liking it.  This idea has also come up in other posts.  In short, the difference is that when you accept something you admit the truth of it.  By admitting the truth of it you can change it if you don’t like it.

 

The biggest hurdle in learning to like ourselves seems to be that we do not want to accept our faults.  We think that if we do not admit our faults and only like the “good” parts of ourselves we will be just fine.  The problem is that those faults become our Achilles heel.  When we do not accept our faults we are in denial.  Those faults will always jump and bite us as long as we are in denial of them.

 

We started today by hearing that the biggest reason that we do not like ourselves is that we do not accept ourselves.  We do not like ourselves because we believe all of those things that people have said about us.  We are in denial of them, and therefore we cannot fix them because we refuse to admit them to ourselves.

 

Liking ourselves begins with learning to accept all of our perceived faults.  Once we accept them then we can change them.

 

Your holiday gift to yourself

This holiday season give yourself the greatest gift possible.  No one else can give you this gift.  Give yourself acceptance of yourself – that is something that only you can do.  I guarantee that this time next year you will be much happier if you give yourself this gift.

 

That is all for today.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

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© Copyright 2008 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

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The Logic of Spirituality – Forgiveness and Acceptance

December 17, 2008

On Sunday I was at a gathering where the speaker talked about forgiveness.  It was a very good speech and there were a number of good points made about the idea of forgiveness.  During the discussion I made a point that connected forgiveness and acceptance – which will be the subject of today’s post.

 

Forgiveness

I have yet to write a post for this site that specifically addresses forgiveness.  However we have touched on it in several posts.  I promise to write a post on forgiveness soon.  For now let’s take a quick look at forgiveness.

 

There are a few interesting misnomers about forgiveness.  One is that if we forgive someone then they are supposed to do something for us.  When we expect something back because we are forgiving, then we are not being in the moment.  Any action we take where we have an attachment or expectation of a specific outcome will always cause us sadness and pain.

 

An interesting thing about forgiving is that most of the time we are actually forgiving ourselves.  I have found this to be particularly true.  As I have learned to forgive other people I have also learned to forgive myself.  In forgiving myself I am then much more able to forgive others.  This is a very positive circle of self improvement and empowerment.

 

Finally, many of us think that if we forgive something that means we agree with it.  This idea came up at Sunday’s discussion.  The specific idea was that one person said they could never forgive Hitler.  The point was made that there is a difference between forgiving and condoning.  We must learn to forgive but not condone.

 

Acceptance

To me, acceptance is another way of forgiving.  I wrote a bit about this in the earlier post titled “I Accept It – But I Don’t Like It”.  There are similarities here to the previous idea of the difference between forgiving and condoning.

 

As far as I am concerned, acceptance is the same thing as unconditional love.  We use the word “love” for far too many things.  When I use the word love I usually clarify what I am saying by using the term unconditional love.  By saying this I am making “love” a specific action, not an emotion.

 

The logic

Here is the spiritual logical link between these two terms.  When I am practicing forgiveness then I am also loving unconditionally.  If am not able to forgive someone then I am also putting conditions on the way I love them.  I am saying that you did something for which I cannot forgive.  I can only love you if you do something to change whatever it is for which I cannot forgive you.

 

This is actually a very large condition – I cannot love someone when I cannot forgive them.  In order to be forgiving we must love unconditionally.  In order to love unconditionally we must be forgiving.

 

Extra credit

Today’s extra credit idea is about forgiving ourselves.  When we cannot forgive someone else for something it usually is because we cannot forgive ourselves for the same thing.  Think about it.  Please submit a comment if you want to discuss it further.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

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The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

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Accepting Is Also Being in the Moment

October 29, 2008

Do you realize that acceptance is part of being in the moment?  Today we will look at the relationship between being in the moment, acceptance and unconditional love.

 

Tying a few concepts together

A few of our recent posts have discussed acceptance and unconditional love, being in the moment, and how to take control of our lives through acceptance.  Today we will get a feeling for how acceptance is an important part of being in the moment.

 

Unconditional love

Let’s start with the idea of unconditional love.  As we stated in our post about sacrifice, unconditional love is love that is given with no expectation of anything in return.

 

Take a close look at this statement.  “With no expectation of anything in return.”  That means we are giving our love in the moment.  We are not doing it to repay a past situation.  Neither are we giving our love in anticipation of anything in the future.

 

Unconditional love means that we are giving our love at this moment and for this moment.  We have no thought of past or future situations.  We are giving our unconditional love because we are in the moment.

 

It appears to me that we can only give unconditional love when we are in the moment.  The converse is that when we are in the moment we always give love without conditions.

 

Acceptance

In our two part series about the concepts of acceptance and love we looked at how acceptance was an integral aspect of love.  We went so far as to state that being accepting is much harder to achieve than being loving.  There have been a few other recent posts about accepting, but the one about learning to take control of our lives by being accepting showed the power of acceptance.

 

Being in the moment

The idea of being in the moment is very common in many spiritual and religious disciplines.  We have looked at several different aspects of this concept on this site.  Back in August we wrote several posts that gave tips on being in the moment.

 

We will not discuss the importance of being in the moment in today’s column.  Please research the topic if you want to understand why this is so important.  We have several posts on this site, but there are many very good sources of information on this subject.  We highly recommend the books written by Eckhart Tolle.  Alternatively please post a comment and we can discuss this topic at length.

 

Let’s put it all together

So we now have three concepts that we would like to link together.  They are unconditional love, acceptance, and being in the moment.

 

One way of linking

There are several ways to link these concepts.  Let’s start with the idea that we want to express our unconditional love to those around us.  In order to do this we must first be accepting of them and the situation we share.

 

Accepting requires us to be in the moment.  If we are not in the moment we are attempting to live a future event or relive an event in the past.  Therefore, when we are accepting we must be in the moment in order to experience the current situation in every aspect.

 

To rephrase this idea, when we want to express our unconditional love then we must be accepting of the situation.  Unconditional love can only be given when we are in the moment because unconditional love means that we are not expecting anything in return.  Therefore, unconditional love can only happen when we are both accepting and in the moment.

 

Another way of linking

Now we view these concepts from a completely different perspective.  We start with being in the moment.  When we are in the moment we are not living any future or past events.

 

Because we are in the moment we are also accepting the people and the situation around us.  We are not denying what is going on around us.  We do not insist that the people around us treat us differently.  The situation is what it is, and the people are doing what they do.

 

By accepting the people with no preconditions we are also expressing our unconditional love.  By being in the moment we are accepting of the people and situations around us.  Through that acceptance we are also expressing our love without conditions.  Unconditional love starts with being in the moment.

 

Back to the beginning

We started this post with the idea that acceptance is also being in the moment.  What we have shown is that when we are accepting we cannot help but be in the moment.  When we are accepting and in the moment we get a nice little bonus.  That bonus is that we cannot help but express our unconditional love when we are in the moment.

 

That is all for today.  Thanks for reading.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

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The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

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