Change and Acceptance. The Paradox of Becoming.

Do change and acceptance work together? Wait a minute here…are you saying I just accept things as they are, but what about being the change I wish to see in the world? What about creating a more loving environment where we can all flourish in joy, starting with me? I see all of these devastating things I don’t want and there are things within me which I want to improve upon or break free from. Acceptance? I don’t want this, it feels bad and I want to change it somehow, right now!  And if it doesn’t go away, then I will just avoid it, deny it, bury it and make do so I can feel good using whatever avenues possible because the alternative sucks. I need relief. I can’t deal with all of the hurt, it shouldn’t be this way. Why can’t everything be all happy, fun and perfect? Why can’t we all get along, love each other and enjoy? It doesn’t make sense, why have all these bad things? Something has to change, I can’t just accept what I see, the suffering, the injustices, I have to do something! I refuse to accept the way things are. Resisting. Does resistance change anything?

If I am actively resisting and feeling bad about the failures of the world, where things are not ideal, where I desperately wish I could help. Is feeling bad about it all the time really helping? What about accepting that this is how things are right now, even though it is not what I want. It feels bad. I allow myself to feel it, I accept and acknowledge the big, serious things… like people and animals are being hurt, or the small, petty things…that cashier was grouchy or that driver rude. What is within my power in this moment? Can I instantly change everything, no. I have to accept that this is how it is now. What can I change? What is worth me getting upset over? The small things I need to let go of and prioritize what I allow to upset me. Practice letting go of the small stuff so I can then focus on the big stuff. Change my reactions, judgements, perceptions so I can be more emotionally level in order to tackle the big stuff that is important to me. Can I take on everything…no. But I can do things within my power to change, starting with myself and then I can act upon what calls to me. I can do my part by getting myself as straight as possible first. I change the world most by example and becoming my most realized, deep down, true, passionate self. Then from the love overflowing from me, my inspirations guide me to the most loving courses of action. It truly all begins with me and what I am being/becoming. The serenity prayer is a great starting point.

The 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

(prayer attributed to Reinhold Neibuhr, 1892-1971)

What can I do in this moment? What empowers me? Certainly feeling bad and hating a situation does not empower me. Accepting what is, then being mindful and observing my feelings, allowing myself to fully feel them and release them. To free myself up emotionally so I can focus on possible changes and solutions. Being at peace, I can access the broader view and can create from the most loving aspects of my being. Acceptance allows ease,  less reactivity, more flow, promoting mindfulness and wiser, all encompassing, loving choices. With acceptance we gain clarity and have a higher awareness of where there needs to be change. By allowing and accepting the bad feelings which point to the problems needing confronting and resolving, we are guided precisely to where change is needed. Either changes within ourselves and our perceptions or actual actions to change and create a more loving reality.

How do I know what to change? What is within my power? I am only one person, what can I do? This is how it’s always been, people are mean. I just have to accept it, I can’t do anything about the world at large. Really? Acceptance does not mean giving up, does it? Acceptance means acknowledging that something exists. But continuing to believe that this is all there can be, only perpetuates the existence of the status quo. Creating a more loving reality requires vision. Believing in the possibility of changing our world into a more loving place. Becoming, requires acceptance and then change, they go hand in hand. If we are always running away or resisting,  we can not change anything. If we are always despairing we only perpetuate our suffering, paradoxically recreating what we don’t want, hypocrisy and self sabotage. By focusing on and believing in qualities of life which we don’t want we validate and perpetuate more of the same. If we accept it and then focus all of our intention into the change towards what we do want, then we become and create what we focus upon. We create our reality, by believing and acting upon these beliefs.

I believe in love. I believe we are all capable of changing and experiencing more love and joy. We are love. We are one. Why not focus on ways to express and create more of what we truly are spiritually into our physical reality. Allow our beings to be portals and instruments of love/light, by following our logical hearts. Becoming the change by actively choosing the most healthy, productive and loving ways of thinking, feeling, speaking and behaving. A moment by moment decision. Practicing until it is habit through good times and bad. Perpetually becoming more of what we are wanting, which is always love, joy and oneness. Whether we are conscious of it or not, we all are driven by the same force. Love.

Here’s what I would love to see happen within my lifetime. The most important experiences that shape and mold us are with the ones we are closest to, namely our families we grow up with. Now, how many of us are taught about the development of a human being, the various stages, what to expect, how to interact, teach and care for a growing human? How many of us are knowledgeable about parenting and healthy ways of relating. Are we educated on what’s abusive or  what’s healthiest? Do we know how to resolve conflict in a healthy manner? Are we taught emotional awareness and effective coping skills and communication skills? Critical thinking? Self awareness, emotional boundaries? Nonviolent conflict resolution? Dealing with difficult people, social skills?

We have to get licenses to practice certain things. We are highly educated in many aspects of life, get degrees and we have to get licenses to drive, licenses to practice. But what mandatory education are we required to have in order to do the most important thing ever? Parenting, nurturing and socializing our children? Are we raising our children holistically? Who influences the growth of a human the most…their parents, their immediate family, that’s who.  Who teaches the parents?

I was never taught one thing about parenting or childhood development in school. All I knew was what my parents showed me. I thought that was how things were and they were the ones teaching me how to be a parent, about how the world works. Their reality was my introduction to the world. Why is this overlooked. Why aren’t we taught how to be healthy human beings and parents. Why aren’t we taught about healthy relationships and human growth and development. Why aren’t we taught effective ways of coping, critical thinking, self love, self awareness/actualization, universal laws, spirituality and mindfulness techniques where we can create more effectively everything we are wanting.

Wouldn’t it be smart to teach everyone these life skills which impact our lives at every level? What if we practiced techniques like meditation as an educational requirement? What if we screened for abuse (emotional and physical) routinely at schools and required counselling and education for families, so things could change from the roots up. Why not fund education and prevention. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all grew up knowing what it means to be healthy, loving and empowered. If we were educated on ways to be loving no matter what? What if we were taught how beautiful, brilliant and precious we all are so we could love and believe in ourselves more, even if the environment we are reared in is not the greatest? At least we would have more tools and a broader knowledge of possible healthier alternatives. So maybe we could love ourselves no matter what we were shown at home. To give hope in hopeless situations, as children we are at the mercy of our caretakers to a large extent. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if another way was shown to us in our formative years, where maybe we could stay truer to ourselves and our logical hearts?

What would it take to make this happen? Any ideas anyone?

Michelle Miyagi
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