This is sort of the title of my book. The actual title is The Manual to the Universe. Why not? Acceptance of the here and now. Acceptance of “you” in the here and now. Simply, we are human and born without an instruction manual. Who really knows the rules, except what has been passed down to you in one form or another. Acceptance is the best place to start and continue throughout your life.
By the way, I don’t mean the title in a derogatory manner. I mean it in a let’s stop the pressure of thinking we need to be elevated to some unrealistic expectation to attract a really great existence. The more you accept yourself, “AS YOU ARE” the more meaning life has…and the more you accept your external circumstances “AS IS”, the less impact they have on your inner playground.
This is one area I cover in coaching people. I personally do what I can to remember that I am okay as is, to accept me. I “embrace my f—d-up ness”. I reached a point in the past where I was so freaking tired of holding myself up to some perfect expectation, which doesn’t exist and after years of peaks and valleys I gradually have weened myself off expectations in many areas of my life.
No one is perfect, yet we have a society full of people who insist on holding celebrities and people in the media or even our neighbors up to a standard that no one could EVER live up to—human beings are imperfect, always and in all-ways. There are no examples of living on a pedestal accurately on this planet. And on that pedestal, the word accurately, is also up for grabs, because it is a matter of perception.We don’t experience people in all of their glory, 24/7. We don’t live, eat, poop or sleep with the entire world. So, in essence whomever in our lives or in the media that we hold up to such an exemplary high bar, ourselves included “ain’t living up to it”. And why should anyone? Really who made up these rules?
I have more inner peace than I can believe sometimes. When the inner perfectionist wants to creep out, I allow myself to go with the flow…and ask this part of myself, questions. I allow those emotions and feelings to “be”, then I go about my business and take different action than my perfectionist-self would have me believe is acceptable. I find those “perfect” moments come fewer and far between.
In my lifetime, it seems it has almost become inescapable with technology to not constantly be bombarded by images in the media and society–showing me what I need or how I should live. Somewhere along the way the lines got crossed. People do not have to achieve anything to accept themselves. Yet, many believe that home ownership, job security, marriage, having a family and 2 cars is the golden land of happiness. Not so. Some of those elements may contribute to your external “happy factor” or your internal “misery” factor. There is no “standard” which everyone should live by, because it has nothing to do with who you really are and self acceptance. We can beat ourselves up by living up to those expectations of “happiness” or find we have fulfilled all those expectations, but it feels “empty”.
No one, and I mean no one at all is gonna achieve enlightenment in the truest sense of the word, unless they can devote themselves to sitting under a bodhi tree their entire life and not worry about anything else. And then, there is still no guarantee. People live complicated existences nowadays. There ain’t no time to chillax under a tree 24/7 and wait for God or whatever you believe to exist, to speak to you and feel great peace, no way! There are many demands of our time, energy and finances, the key is to find the peace living in this fast-paced world. Acceptance is the way to go. Whatever you can get done today, accept it. That to-do list will still be there tomorrow. Acceptance makes it easy to remember what is really important, what has meaning in your life and really what expectations there are that really matter, if at all.
There is time though to accept your less than perfect-self. There is time to accept your mate, your kids, your dog and your neighbor too. But, first you must accept YOU. This makes acceptance of everything else easy. It allows what frustrates you about others or situations that you want to be different, to just exist as is….and this leads to inner peace. And interestingly enough, accepting what is seems to almost automatically change what is frustrating you without manipulation of circumstances or people.
No more high bars to try and live up to, just “you being you”. Now, I want to be clear this doesn’t lead to a release of goals, but probably a change as to what those goals are in terms of your own happiness. It’s a funny thing that happens when you start living from your heart by accepting yourself–you enjoy the journey. You decide what you want to do, what you love, what you don’t like, what you want that picture to look like FOR YOU. Not for anyone else!
Who says a white picket fence and Louis Vuitton bag is “happiness”. Digging yourself, that is TRUE happiness.