This week I had a valuable lesson in acceptance. I had a home emergency in which there was severe water damage done to at least six rooms and the the garage. My insurance had emergency crews out the same day to set up blowers and dryers and to remove damaged dry wall. Needless to say, my home is in a lot of disarray.
Now, I could lament over what happened and relive the past, however, the truth is that what happened was spontaneous and unpredictable and it could not have been prevented. Therefore, instead of wallowing over the past and what transpired, I decided to practice radical acceptance, a term coined by the famous spiritual teacher and author Tara Brach, who has a book by the same name.
Radical acceptance is exactly how it sounds, which is being in complete and total peace with whatever you are experiencing, no matter how difficult or challenging it may be. I know this is difficult to do, especially since there are varying degrees of challenge and adversity that people experience. However, despite this fact, one thing is true. No amount of regret over what happened will change it.
I’m not saying that you should not grieve a loss or feel sadness or anger over a difficult situation you are facing. It is natural and healthy to feel your emotions. What I am saying is that you feel what you need to feel in the process of fully accepting whatever transpires in your life good, bad or otherwise. It has already transpired and all that regret does is to keep you stuck in the past, something which is written in stone and cannot be changed.
Radical acceptance helps you to stay fully present in the depths of what is, no matter what form it takes and truly live like you’re meant to live. You see, we have little control over the experiences in our lives, no matter how much we try to engineer them. Life has its own agenda and things happen, which we never anticipated or expected.
We do not always know the reasons behind this and, usually, there is a greater plan or design to our life experiences, orchestrated by a higher intelligence than we can understand. This is why radical acceptance is absolutely crucial to truly living your life and not just waiting for the next best thing to show up in your life.
Life is here, life is now, life is this very moment. It cannot be any other way. Therefore, accept what is, no matter how difficult or challenging it may seem on the surface. This is the key to mastering your life and living it to the fullest. After all, nothing is permanent and everything will fade away into dust except for your true nature, which is the consciousness, which animates the entire universe.
Radical acceptance is how you touch this deep place of consciousness in all moments of your life. This gift is yours and is wrapped up as the present moment. Grasp it with all your might, no matter what its appearance may be and discover the secrets known to saints, mystics and sages. This is the meaning of mastery and it is available to you right here in this very moment.
Dr. Nauman Naeem