Acceptance

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Upon arriving in a new township, the young warrior and his Master head to the local keep for a refreshing tea and a rest. But the large brute standing at the door just smirks and insists: “You can come in…if you can move me!” The Master smiles and nods to his student, who immediately thrusts himself against the thug. He pushes intensely, with all his might, but his power is no match for the big man, who pushes back and laughs as the young warrior grows tired. “How about you, old man?” says the brut. The old man humbly steps toward the door and lays his hand on the man, pushing gently and gradually increasing power until the large man starts to push back. When the Master can feel the thug’s power increase, he simply stops pushing, steps aside, and allows the brute’s own force to fall forward, landing the man on the ground in front of the door. The Master again smiles and casually walks inside.

In martial arts, we call this “using one’s own energy against him.” But what does acceptance mean in life? Does it mean simply taking whatever comes, lying down, putting in no effort and whatever happens, happens? Or can acceptance mean something more productive? Perhaps it means non-judgment—that whatever happens, rather than judging it as negative or positive, you simply acknowledge the reality and move forward from there. Taking it a step further, perhaps it suggests that we actually accept in or let the opposing energy move forward so as to use it to our advantage, not in a selfish way but rather in a progressive, practical way. For instance, your boss had to let you go from your job, or your girlfriend broke up with you. You may find it useful to resist this change, to fight for things to stay the same, to do everything in your power to get things “back on track,” but once you’ve exhausted your options, what choice do you have other than to truly accept the situation? And by acceptance, not simply to acknowledge it, but rather to use it to your advantage—indeed to see this as an actual opportunity, even if temporarily unsettling or sad. Thank your boss or your ex for letting you go, for freeing you from the bondage of your attachment to them, and for allowing you to take the next step in your life toward a more fitting and inspiring situation!

Part of acceptance of situations also requires acceptance of your feelings. Allow yourself to FEEL! But just because you are sad or angry or afraid, you don’t have to be immobilized. You can take the opportunity, start on the new road forward, and still feel.

Without acknowledging what is true and present—by ignoring or resisting some circumstance—we cannot properly deal with what is at hand. Further, if we don’t accept a thing or energy for what it is, we can’t then use it to progress. Next time you feel yourself resisting or ignoring a situation or energy, try accepting it instead, perceiving it as an opportunity, and recognizing how that acceptance can allow you to move forward on a more progressive, wise, and healthy path.

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