Are you fighting with yourself trying desperately to accept the unacceptable?
Are you fighting with yourself trying desperately to accept the unacceptable? For whatever the reason, whether it is illness, divorce, personal debt or just your child’s bad behavior, feeling powerless, hoping things will change is no different from forcing acceptance, in either case, frustration and self-judgment are guaranteed, especially if we believe that by attaining it we are acting as respectable, thoughtful and understanding people.
Ironically, the only constant is change. Relentlessly in search of harmony, life is a continual transmutation and transformation from one state to another. When our lives contract rather than expand, just desiring change cannot act as a catalyst for transformation. What is required is balance. Humans are attached to the misconception that we can separate everything into the categories of black and white, where “good” is acceptable and “bad” is repressible and deniable— and balance is rarely achieved. Our challenge is to embrace whatever arises in the moment even though we may not like what happens and how it makes us feel. Painful feelings deserve to be acknowledged, honored, respected, and given space just as we would treat positive feelings.
This is the beginning of self-acceptance, self-love, and internal harmony.
Although acceptance is an essential quality of the heart it is grossly misunderstood. However noble the gesture, acceptance will not come from the heart if it is forced through internal conflict. Contrary to what many believe, resistance or refusal to accept is not uncharitable, wrong, nasty, or selfish if it is put into the right perspective. Trying to prove otherwise is non-acceptance of a basic truth of human nature—no one is perfect!
Convincing ourselves and others what really hurts does not matter at all; is a strategy to force acceptance, either for the sake of respectability or for fear of disturbing others. Nonetheless, whatever is unacceptable will eventually push to be expressed in the long run, usually in the most inopportune moments.
Instead of “beating ourselves up” and sugar coating every bitter pill, acknowledging non-acceptance can actually prove to be a very powerful instrument of growth, an opportunity to reexamine and terminate a lifelong liaison with self-judgment and self-blaming— so it is time accept we are unable to accept and memorize this mantra: “It’s okay not to feel okay!”
The heart center loves a paradox. Authentic acceptance from the heart always involves admitting and embracing personal truth concerning what is being honestly felt in the moment. As absurd as it may sound, the first step to accepting is actually admitting “I accept that I am unable to accept!” It’s as simple as that.
Any other declaration is self-betrayal because trading or dishonoring our true feelings through guilt or for the sake of appearances (putting on a brave face) is denial.
Being honest about our negative thoughts and feelings is important, because expressing emotions is natural. Suffering, on the other hand, is attachment to our painful and uncomfortable emotions, an inability to let them go. Suffering has a damaging impact on the psycho-neuro-endrocrine-immunology systems. When emotions are embraced through non-judgment, the metaphysical heart is happy to receive whatever we surrender honestly.
To simplify how the process works, imagine a very small basket jam-packed with apples. The lack of space between each apple results in pressure bruising from the direct close-fitting contact. Let’s think of our painful emotions as those apples. Observing them without judgment is equivalent to expanding the dimension of the basket so that the heart can create space around each apple as we release our attachment to negative feelings. The extra space prevents further bruising and friction. Keeping a negative emotion alive—attachment—is an exhausting commitment that drains vital energy that could be invested in a more positive activity, like self-healing for example.
The task of the metaphysical heart is not to magically eliminate discomfort or pain, but to form more space around it. Like the tiny basket packed with apples the larger the basket becomes— expansion of the heart—the more space forms around and between each apple—painful emotion. This prevents friction and bruising through contact. It is, in fact, the intervention of the metaphysical heart center that permits our emotions to flow once again more naturally, finally letting go of or surrendering emotional blocks and internal conflicts in order to return to a state of balance.
It is probably safe to affirm that encountering the master within (Heart center) requires vulnerability, humility, and courage, none of which is cultivated though mere whim, romantic inclination, or weakness. In a dimension in which time desists, every single beat of the heart brings us once again into the ever present, into the here and now, with what is, as it is, and how it is. This liberates us finally from the past and the need to prove our worth. Now free to experiment with a life dedicated, as the Buddha would say, to just doing our best as truthfully as one knows how, we now accept that, at times, our best will not be the best, but that’s okay. Although the mind may try to criticize our efforts, the heart, incapable of any form of judgment, will simply acknowledge and embrace, without desiring to change, what simply is, replying, “That’s okay. Just do your best. I love you just the way you are!” because when we venture on the journey of self-healing our aim is to acknowledge, embrace and integrate both the light and darkness residing within us all. Our inner revolution will not make us more virtuous people but it will help us become more authentic.
Caroline Mary Moore
About The Author
Born in London in 1962, Caroline Mary Moore is a certified associate member of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing since 1981. A former professional dancer and choreographer, today Caroline is a registered holistic counselor (AIPO) specialized in subtle body healing and metaphysical energy work, which deals with the metaphysical breath of the subtle light bodies.
Caroline lives in Mantua, Italy, with her husband and three children, and is the author of the book ” The Holistic Approach To Redefining Cancer.” Working as a facilitator of holistic education and energy hygiene, Caroline helps her clients discover new resources within, empowering and supporting them during transitions and personal transformations.