One of the great learnings in life is—to accept. Life teaches us the principle of acceptance in its own ways. What does acceptance mean and how can it help us to grow spiritually—let us understand it a little bit.
The Principle of Acceptance
We all want our life to be a certain way. We all want to lead a particular life. But as you know, and as John Lennon sang: life is “…what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.” So, more than often, our plans get scattered like fallen leaves dispersed by a gust of wind. We feel listless, sometimes lost. And sometimes even hopeless. We start to suffer. But as we go through life (and hopefully grow through life!), and become life-sensically more mature, we realise that life cannot be organised like a well-thought-out plan. Life is a dynamic process, like a gushing river, ever changing and adapting to new situations. Once we start to realise this, slowly acceptance descends into our hearts naturally, without actually trying to do so, just because logic demands it.
So, acceptance is a deep sense of recognition that life is unpredictable, flexible. We can not command the life process; it has its own trajectory and momentum. And endeavouring to change its course otherwise only intensifies our suffering. Acceptance is that recognition.
There are certain factors which are beyond our control, and certain others which are in control. We didn’t choose our birth. Nor will we choose our death. It’ll anyway happen. There are two exceptions though: a self-realized being or a Yogi can decide the time and manner of his death. And the second exceptions are those who commit suicide. But, for 98% of the people, death is not in our hands. It happens to us. We don’t decide it. Likewise, we didn’t decide before our birth which family to be born into. We can’t decide what’ll happen or not happen to us in life—anything can happen. Leave alone the world and life, we, most of the time, fail to control our bodies and minds, don’t we? It is more so with our minds. We have very little control over our minds. When such is the case, how can we even dream of controlling life? And we actually should not. We must learn to flow with life, instead of adjusting its flow to our conveniences. It’s foolish.
The Japanese has these beautiful philosophy—called Daoism or Taoism. ‘Dao’ or ‘Tao’ loosely means ‘The Great Way’. It’s a philosophy of life which advises us to live in harmony with life, to flow with life without any resistance. To live without any effort, with absolute ease. Living like this is the mark of the highest level of intelligence. Only a truly intelligent life will know how true this is.
Acceptance is a flowering. It’s a consequence. It cannot be enacted forcefully—we’ll only create more suffering that way. The only thing we have to do is to mature. Mature in life. Maturity doesn’t necessarily come with age. Psychological maturity comes when we start to understand life and ourselves better.
Self-understanding is the beginning of maturity.
And a mature heart learns to accept.
Once acceptance comes, we become settled within us. A deep sense of contentment comes. Fear of life slowly loses its grip on us. Our hearts starts to rest in peace. Life becomes uncomplicated and smooth. Unnecessary struggles fall away on their own.
This is a great freedom in itself. Freedom from the very fear of life and death. And if this is happening, you are spirituality evolving, quietly and beautifully.
P.S: Stay tuned for the next Principle of Life tomorrow. Please do share your thoughts on this. Thank you for your patience. With Love, Alok 🍁