Life is all about being with “what is”
Your present-moment experience is all there is. It’s all you have; it’s everything. Therefore, life is all about being with “what is” without pushing away what’s here.
However, being with “what is” doesn’t make everything all right and doesn’t necessarily lead to a blissful life in which there’s only love, peace and acceptance. How “it is” is the only way it can be, though; it’s the reality of our experience.
Acceptance of “what is” isn’t about trying to do whatever it takes to make something we don’t want go away. It’s about being with our reality of “what is,” unconditionally. Authentically meeting how things really are for you can’t and won’t make things better or, for that matter, worse, than they already are.
Unconditional acceptance is unachievable
Mindful awareness is about noticing what’s here, now, but we say to ourselves, “I should accept (but I don’t). I should accept my non-acceptance (but I don’t). If I can just accept my non-acceptance of ‘what is,’ then I’ll feel better (but I can’t and I don’t).” Truly wanting whatever life gives you with unconditional acceptance is unachievable or a lie.
Why would you want something you don’t want? Wanting things to be different from how they are is completely understandable, normal and human.
Thinking we should be unconditionally accepting of everything and want nothing, or, in other words, that we should be free of wanting, is of course just another want. Not wanting your wanting or wanting to not want is just more wanting.
“Wanting” and “not-wanting,” and wanting “not-wanting” and not wanting “wanting”—how do we stay sane?!
Sometimes, the underlying motivation for trying to find acceptance is that we want something to go away. We think if we can find acceptance, we’ll want nothing and like everything, and be grateful for what we have, but trying to be unconditionally accepting of “what is” won’t give you freedom from pain and suffering or make you feel any better. Using the idea of acceptance to try to make things different from how they are isn’t really acceptance of “what is.”
To think, “I must be accepting of everything,” is a conditional condition of the unconditional and leaves out non-acceptance. If we’re to be truly unconditional, there must be no conditions; then, we’re unconditionally unconditional and our non-acceptance can be included and accepted.
But we want to be accepting of “what is” without experiencing our non-acceptance. We don’t want that to be there, and we don’t want to accept that we’re not as accepting as we’d like to be. No, we don’t want that.
When you’re with the reality of how you are and how it is, however that is, then you’ve made it. When you realize that the only reason you’re experiencing whatever it is you’re experiencing is because you’re experiencing it, and therefore it can’t be any other way, then you’re free to want and not want, to accept and not accept. Can you be with “what is” without trying to get to someplace else, somewhere you think you should be?
Acceptance and awareness underlie non-acceptance
The truth is, what always underlies non-acceptance is acceptance. Therefore, you’re trying to find the acceptance that’s already here, but you’re too late, because everything has already been accepted. What’s already here has already been allowed and is already accepted, because it’s already here.
Non-acceptance only exists in the mind, in thought, but it’s not real. Non-acceptance doesn’t exist; you just think it does. Acceptance and awareness are one and the same. There’s nothing for you to accept, as everything—including everything that you are, everything you’ve done and everything you think, say and do—is instantly accepted as the way it is. You really are the very acceptance you seek.
What’s your relationship with wanting and not wanting? Whatever it is, it is what it is. Your present-moment experience can never be wrong, disallowed or rejected because it has already arrived and is already here. So there’s no need to practice unconditional acceptance. All you need to do is notice what’s here now and that’s unconditional acceptance.
It’s so easy—just notice. Noticing isn’t about doing, it’s about noticing what you think, feel and do, how you are and what’s happening. When you simply notice what you’re aware of, when you notice your own awareness, you can’t get it wrong. When you notice “what is,” this can’t possibly be wrong because it is “what is.”
Your own internal weather report
Look outside and notice the weather. You may accept the weather as it is or you might wish it were different, but you don’t think the weather is wrong, nor do you think your weather preference is wrong. No one thinks they can make the weather change, but we know that sooner or later, it will.
The same applies to you. Mindfulness is about obtaining your own internal weather report. It is how it is and you are how you are. There’s nothing you can do about it until in one way or another, change occurs and as many of us know, we live in the constant flow of change.
It’s the mind that wants to be free of wanting, and all wanting, even wanting freedom from wanting, is allowed. However, you’ll only be free of wanting when you stop wanting to be free of wanting, but you can’t just stop yourself from wanting, can you? Can see your wanting for what it really is?
Living with our non-accepting, wanting selves
Obviously, we can’t accept what we don’t accept, but our non-acceptance has a right to be here because it’s already here. Can we accept that we’re not as accepting as we think we should be, as we’d like to be? Can we live with our non-accepting, wanting selves? Can we allow ourselves our human wants, desires and wishes? Our likes and dislikes?
All non-acceptance is really a way of saying, “I don’t like it” and “I don’t want it,” which is perfectly understandable and allowable, as well as being truthful and honest. However non-accepting you find yourself to be, there really is no such thing as non-acceptance. It exists only in your mind and doesn’t—can’t—exist outside of thought.
It all just happens to happen the way it happens, and all you need to do is notice when you’re accepting and when you’re not. Both are equally fine and dandy.
Fill in the blanks:
I notice ________.
I’m aware of ________.
That’s all there is to do. That’s mindful awareness.
Acceptance of non-acceptance is acceptance, and non-acceptance of non-acceptance is non-acceptance, but whether you’re ready for this or not, your non-acceptance is already accepted.
Acceptance is already here and there’s no such thing as non-acceptance, and you’re free to either accept that or not.
Do you accept that there’s no such thing as non-acceptance? Your answer, whatever it is, was instantly accepted the moment you thought it. There’s nothing you can do about that, because your thoughts are already accepted exactly as they are, as you are.
Be whatever it is you are
You’re a manifestation of the very acceptance that you seek and your acceptance of that isn’t required. You’ll never become your idea of the fully accepting being that you want to be, because you already are that.
There’s nothing more for you to do than just be whatever it is you already are.