Morris Langlo West, in his novel The Shoes of the Fisherman, described what it takes to be an enlightened human being. What caught my attention was his statement that we must embrace “the total acceptance of every consequence of living and dying.”
That is asking a lot, and yet, when we are in a place of total acceptance of whatever comes along, and when we can embrace life without labeling experiences as good or bad, it is then that we will truly know peace.
And this peace is sustainable. It is not something that visits on occasion, but a state of being that we can live in.
Think about it — if you do not identify an experience as positive or negative, and just accept it as perfect for you, then there is no suffering (no matter what is happening).
If you’re looking for a simple step you can take to put this concept into action, begin by noticing something in your life that aggravates you. It might be that you get totally frustrated when you get sick and can’t go about your week as you had planned.
Once you’ve identified the situation, imagine it’s happening now and pretend that you are able to see it as neutral (neither good nor bad). It just is.
If you aren’t able to do this, then remain at this step and keep revisiting the experience (or pick something that is slightly less frustrating to you, so you can begin with something easier). Stay at this step until you can see a situation as neutral.
Now that you’re able to see it as neutral, pretend that the situation is exactly right for you. In other words, imagine that your inner knowing arranged this situation to happen for a reason (you may not know the reason, but assume it’s a very good one).
When you are able to accept that what happened was exactly perfect for you, then you will feel peaceful about that experience. Now you are ready to do this with other situations and experiences.
Let me know how it goes for you…