Acceptance, letting go … not what I thought

Perhaps someone has said to you “you need to let go of such-and-such”. Perhaps you’ve said this to someone else.

One of my personal shifts, that of letting go of something, came via the the MBSR (mindfulness based stress reduction) program I took recently. I’m still quite intrigued that I didn’t know I needed to let go, or even that I was holding on.

You see I’ve had a live long habit of asking myself “why”. Of trying to figure something out, by somehow looking within. I can tell you this habit has been absolutely futile. Despite never yielding answers, I held on to what I thought was a helpful way of being in the world.

Somehow – perhaps Grace, who knows – through the MBSR program, I shifted away from that habit towards an attitude of acceptance.

I can tell you, acceptance isn’t what I thought it was. It isn’t a passive view of the world in which one does nothing to change things; it isn’t some kind of moral relativism in which all values and ideas are equally valid.

Perhaps it was best described by Stephen Covey, in his now famous 7 Habits book: it is the space between stimulus and response, where we find our free will.

It is a way of allowing the first reaction to something to be non-judgemental, with enough inner space to choose the response.

If that doesn’t make sense, I’m sure telling you that the effect has been unpredictably and enormously liberating will.

Peace,

~Jim

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