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I used to tell myself the reason I had trouble with acceptance was stubbornness. Not true. The reason I had problems with acceptance was my brain was hijacked by my ego, and it kept triggering my toxic shame: The shame of believing I was not enough. And whenever shame was triggered, I would immediately go to non-acceptance and try to prove my worthiness using a multiple of dysfunctional ways. Dishonesty, defensiveness, ignorance, defiance and sometimes even arrogance because the pain of looking at myself was so daunting.

Boy am I gland those painful years of non-acceptance are long behind me. Today, acceptance is one of the simplest and most profound practices I know. It’s the bedrock of my spiritual practice.

More than 2500 years ago, the Buddha focused an entire spiritual movement on the concept of non-attachment. He taught it as the key to ending suffering by encouraging his followers to accept, not resist, the way things were. That doesn’t mean we have to agree with or approve of intolerable situations, but it does mean we have to acknowledge the reality of what’s happening before we try to change it.

You see, whenever we don’t practice acceptance, we are really choosing to suffer because whenever we resist what is, suffering will always be the outcome.

Keeping things REAL is vital to letting go of our resistance, and so repeat after me if you like: “It’s okay to make a mistake. It’s okay that some people will not like me. It’s okay not to feel enough. It’s okay to feel like a fake. It’s okay to feel like I don’t have my shit together. It’s okay not to be perfect.”

Believe it or not, this is how we begin to deal with our issues. First, there is an admission, then acceptance, and final, we surrender by taking the needed action to heal our wounded minds, bodies and spirits.

This process is vital for every ailment known to man/woman, from addiction, depression, violence, death, and cancer etc.

Remember, what we resist will persist! So make acceptance part of your practice. warmly, Paul Noiles

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