The Power Of Acceptance

Not knowing constancy, one recklessly cause trouble

Knowing constancy is acceptance

Acceptance is impartiality

Impartiality is Sovereign

Sovereign is Heaven

Heaven is Tao

Tao is eternal

The Self is no more, without danger”

Excerpt from Chapter 16

Acceptance begins with the present moment. It is an acknowledgment of reality and the allowing of something as it really is. Non-acceptance (denial) is something the ego does frequently when its self-serving desire is in conflict with reality. The illusion occurs when reality does not match up with how the ego wants it to be. Acceptance is impartial to desire.

The ego will have a bias towards the perspective that best serves its insatiable desire. Confirmation bias is an illusion where a person seeks out only that information that supports the biased view. Denial of the underlying reality of life as it avoids facing the root cause of suffering. The ego will delude itself for a number of reasons such as greed or fear. Both lead to suffering.

Non-acceptance to reality creates resistance. When you deny the underlying reality, you are resisting the natural flow of life. This resistance creates emotional friction. The ego response can be mood reactions such as anger, frustration, depression, resentment and other negative feelings. When you feel these dark moods, the usual reaction is to cope with them through superficial means such as sensational responses. We may do unhealthy things hoping to feel better. Distraction is a common means of coping. Instinctively people will try to fill their minds with something else so that they will feel better. Too often these coping measures are self-destructive and only lead to more and deeper suffering.

Acceptance is a virtue whose inherent power can lead to a more effective alternative. When you can accept the reality of a situation you become impartial to the desire of the self-absorbed ego. Non-acceptance can create a feeling of being imprisoned. However, the prison is one whose door is wide open and you just to walk through it. Free of desire, you become detached from the things that keep you confined and unhappy.

This ability to accept and let go is a trait of sovereignty. Remember, sovereignty is the higher-consciousness ruling over the ego mind. When you can take back your power from the ego, you free yourself from its attachments.

Acceptance is a gateway virtue that initiates the implementation of other virtues such as honesty, cooperation, patience, wisdom, contentment, detachment, gratitude, and simplicity. Each virtue has its own inherent powers for effective life management.

Acceptance is the first step in detachment. With detachment, you can cultivate Wu Wei1. With attachment to outcome, you are striving which is opposite of the Tao.

You can use the “because of” litmus test to see the inherent power of acceptance.

Example: “Because of his acceptance, he was able to be patient with the child’s tantrums.”

And… “It was a time of great struggle. However, by virtue of acceptance, she was able to experience contentment and even joy during challenging times.”

Acceptance is a choice. It is available in the moment that you are mindful of feelings and intentions. Through meditation and mindfulness practice you can learn to be aware of the ego and transcend its control over those choices that affect your future.

The future depends on what we do in the present.”

Mahatma Gandhi

Is it easy to practice acceptance? You will immediately know how you feel when you try it. If you (your ego) resists you will feel it in a negative way.

Truth can be subjective. So use discernment rather than ego bias. I define discernment as perceiving without judgment so that you can perceive what the underlying reality is. Be mindful of ego bias and influence in what you believe to be true. Realize multiple perspectives and other viewpoints. Try to avoid being attached to an ego based outcome.

Another important point about acceptance is making the distinction of action vs reaction. An example to see this is when you experience a serious illness. Sometimes we can be in denial because we are afraid of the outcome or even the treatment. The right action is to accept that there is an anomaly in your well-being, yet you do not have to react by giving up and surrendering to despair. You can accept the reality of the illness, but you don’t have to accept the reaction of hopelessness. When you accept what is happening, it can be more effective in finding a solution. Hope can raise the spirit which has a better chance of healing.

In verses 1 – 11 of Chapter 64, Lao Tzu encourages us to deal with life issues early on.

When it is peaceful, it is easy to maintain

When it shows no signs, it is easy to plan

When it is fragile, it is easy to break

When it is small, it is easy to scatter

Act on it when it has not yet begun

Treat it when it is not yet chaotic

A Tree thick enough to embrace

Grows from the tiny sapling

A tower of nine levels

Starts from the dirt heap

A journey of a thousand miles

Begins beneath the feet

Acceptance avoids procrastination so that we can begin the right action while it is effective. Sometimes problems resolve themselves but many times they do not. Either way, acceptance is the more effective approach.

Acceptance is practiced by true-self and cultivates sovereignty. Your sovereignty will keep the ego in check which will lead to a more harmonious life. A life in harmony is one with less effort and striving. You can accomplish more by doing less.

Sovereign is Heaven

Heaven is Tao

Tao is eternal

The Self is no more, without danger”

In this way, you can get through the challenges and still live a long life of well-being. Acceptance opens the way for Sovereignty.

1See the Chapter 12 on Wu Wei. (unattached actions, accomplish more by doing less.

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