Monday, June 19, 2017

Acceptance, not Passivity!

Every once in a while someone in a thread about buddhism and all that, ahem, stuff, mentions the importance of acceptance. Predictably, someone points out that we cannot simply accept ISIS, Trump, the Republicans, climate change, whatever.

They always get downvoted into oblivion. But... Isn't this the most obvious objection?

It certainly is one of my first thoughts, every time I hear or see a comment like that.

We all have stuff that we simply cannot accept. And that very fact is, in my view at least, the most important thing to accept. Political matters, relationship matters, family matters. Very important stuff. Stuff that needs to be addressed.

To me, currently, it's mostly about family, about the way my mother and sister treat my father after his stroke. The point cannot be to simply "let it go" and do nothing to help my own father. To revel in my own helplessness and dress it up as spiritual enlightenment. No siree, sorry.

The point is not that. That is moronic ideology, pop psychology, newey agey happy deppy thinkie pinkie winkey horsecrap. I wholeheartedly reject that, with no acceptance at all.


I do challenge myself to really feel my own resistance. To first find out what this has to do with me, what it does to me, what exactly it is that makes me so angry, and what my intention truly is. I try to get to a point where I don't have to react to my own anger, where I don't have to blindly lash out against them -- against the persons involved, as opposed to the problems we're facing together. I want to reach a point where I can react to the issue itself, in the most effective and helpful way possible. This simply cannot be done if I am a slave to my own rejection.

In an odd way, I am at a good place for that practice. I tried reason, I tried anger, I tried lashing out, I tried interventions with people who I thought might have an influence... all to no avail. So the only place left to change is indeed myself.

To do that, I first have to set up my own limits. That part is extremely important. I cannot get there if I constantly feel like I'm under immediate threat. I have to realize that, right now, I am not there, and there is a chance that I never will be. So there have to be defences. For some situations, that might mean moving out, limiting contact, in some cases legal action. (Possibly even war? I honestly don't know.)

Those defences might come down in the long run, of course, but I have to be compassionate to myself first, if I want to enable myself to be compassionate to others.

And then... well... lots and lots of mindfulness, practice, training, meditation, I guess. Not become a poser in the process. Not try to project that I am sooo enlightened and accepting when deep down I'm the opposite.

This is a huge challenge. To me, to you, to everyone.

Please let's never lose sight of the fact that, for the most part, we are not there yet, and acting as if we were, won't do at all.

Obligatory link to my reddit comment on that matter.

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