In the lyrics for my song, “I Choose Forgiveness,” I wrote, “I accept life the way it is.” This acceptance is also mirrored in the world-famous, “Serenity Prayer.”
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
One of the principles for being in what I call a Clarity Mind State, is letting whatever happens be okay.
Many masters and mystics have spoken about living life in a surrendered way. They say that life “just is,” and the more you can surrender to life’s flow the happier and more peaceful you’ll be. The more you can accept the way life is, the less pain you’ll have to deal with.
All pain is a result of your resistance to something. The more you accept and surrender and let whatever happens be okay, the less you are resisting the flow of life.
To the degree that you can have less resistance, the greater the reduction of pain and suffering you will experience.
Creating Models: This is How It’s Supposed to Be
Some of us have built up models about how we think things are supposed to be. Unfortunately, this can set you up for major discouragement and disappointment.
When things don’t turn out the way you think they should — you suffer.
Less Resistance Less Pain
When I got off the road as a musician I felt like I lost my identity. I was no longer who I thought I was. I resisted and went through an identity crisis and grieving process. I just couldn’t let it go. As soon as I came to terms with it, that’s when my pain stopped.
At the time, it felt like it was my circumstances that was creating my discomfort, but it was really my reaction to my circumstance than caused all the pain and it was really my unwillingness to accept it that created my discomfort.
It’s not what happens that creates our suﬀering, it’s our resistance to it!
If you are willing to accept friends, family, circumstances and even struggles just the way they are, even when “what is” is not what you want, you’ll suffer less.
See yourself calm like the still point at the center of the storm, steadfast and fully in your presence and being.
Make a commitment to yourself that your happiness and peace of mind will not depend upon and be controlled by your circumstances.
Accept what happens, even if it is uncomfortable. The sooner you stop resisting the sooner the discomfort will end.
Acceptance brings healing. When you stop resisting there’s more room for you to become receptive to new possibilities and transformation.
How Will You React if?
- Your rich uncle Dilbert leaves his entire fortune to his pet snake, Sammy.
- In a heavy rain, your basement floods while your real estate agent is showing your home to a potential buyer. The buyer demands that you hire a structural engineer.
- You forgot to backup your computer. All your work for the last 20 years has been lost.
I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t get mad or feel. I’m suggesting that you adopt a divine indifference to whatever happens in your life – and let whatever happens be okay.
God Made Me That Way!
At first, when you are learning to be in the Clarity Mind State, cut yourself a little slack. This new way of living takes practice. You’ll find yourself sliding back to your old way of being. If you do, be gentle with yourself and accept yourself just the way you are.
When one of my closest friends would find herself exasperated because she couldn’t figure out her life or she realized that she wasn’t perfect, she would loudly say, “I can’t help it, God made me that way!”
Make It Your Preference
When you let whatever happens be okay, you redefine your attachment to things.
When “what is” doesn’t turn out the way you want, you simply decide to make your circumstances, preferences instead.
Of course you’d like for things to be a certain way but you’re not attached to them being that way. You accept “what is.”
Being in this surrendered and centered state doesn’t mean you can’t be goal-oriented and forward moving. You can continue to work toward what you want but regardless of the outcome you maintain your equanimity and inner peace.
You refuse to be controlled by forces outside of you that will upset your presence, happiness and peace of mind.
Be The Silent Witness
When you are fully present and accepting of your thoughts and feelings, you are more receptive to higher levels of functioning and being.
A powerful approach to living at higher levels of being is adopting the role of the Silent Witness.
Watch yourself with great curiosity and detail. Notice your thoughts, behaviors, feelings, judgments and especially what you resist. When you find yourself coming from an ego or resistance perspective — simply watch. Don’t try to stop resisting, this only creates more resistance.
As you get better at watching your reactions to what is happening, it will become clear that you, and you alone, create all your suﬀering.
The more you watch and expand your awareness this way the more diﬃcult it will be for you to keep creating it.
Be the watcher or observer of your life and simply see what is happening all around you. Through it all, maintain your center. Your poise should not be lost.
Check out the following definition for mindfulness.
Mindfulness: Bringing one’s complete attention to the present experience on a moment-to-moment basis, non-judgmentally, just as it is.
One Life Changing Question
If I could offer you one absolute LIFE CHANGING question it would be this one…
In this only moment NOW ask yourself:
“What would happen if I allowed this moment to be just as it is?”
At every turn in your life, every disappointment, every challenge or struggle – ask yourself this question.
You can also re-phrase it to allow for deeper self-acceptance and surrender to:
“What would happen if in this moment I allowed myself to be just as I am?
I love this little story…
An Indian sage approached the Buddha and asked him, “Are you a God?” The Buddha replied: “No, I am not a God.” The Indian sage then asked, “Are you an angel?” The Buddha replied: “No, I am not an angel.” The sage then asked, “Who are you?” The Buddha replied: “I am aware.”
Let your awareness be uncluttered and undisturbed. Let whatever happens be okay.
Tell me how you’ve released something that you’ve been resisting. Leave me a comment, I’d love to hear from you!