Acceptance is often a term one encounters in spiritual practice and in other areas of personal growth. It is certainly a term I have heard many times and a concept that I thought I had an understanding of. However conceptual understanding of acceptance does not produce much transformation and for me lately my practice with acceptance has become more experiential. Acceptance has often been something I have struggled with because if what was happening was not to my liking it felt like accepting it would be perpetuating it or inviting more of it. If I accepted that I didn’t have much money I would be validating it and ensuring that I would continue to be broke. So instead of accepting I unconsciously resisted and fought my experience when it seemed to be hostile or negative. What I didn’t realize is that the very act of resisting it is what made it hostile or aversive. In other words the external situation was not really negative but just what it was, instead my unconscious judgment was that it was negative and my resistance to it caused it to resist back further validating my perception. Resistance to anything seems to create a counter force in the opposite direction. But this fails to take into account that I am the source of my experience so when I am fighting or resisting what is I am creating separation between myself and life, imagining that the qualities I experience in the situation are inherent to it rather than my projection.

The way to really see this process first hand is by practicing acceptance. When I began to truly accept what is, accept the present moment the resistance and fighting dissolved and I could see things with greater clarity. Things didn’t seem as hostile or aversive anymore. I also realized that acceptance does not mean that we continue to create the same experience over and over by condoning it or become passive. Not at all. It means that by not resisting what is we become free to change it if that change is needed and if change is needed we will be able to see clearly just what needs to change and how to accomplish the change because our action comes out of spaciousness and the joy of being ok with the present moment. When we are resisting what is our action has the quality of coming out of that resistance and so produces results similar to it in quality which is not usually any better than what we were resisting in the first place.

What it comes down to for me is that if I first accept or surrender to what is I become fully present and in touch with my experience and therefore my power. I realized that I have created my experience in this moment and it cannot be other than what it is but by accepting it and taking my power back I have the ability to create something different if thats called for. By accepting what is I become truly free because there is a deep source of peace that is allowed to shine through the experience of the moment when we are surrendered to it. That source of peace is pure consciousness, the divine, the unmanifest, emptiness or whatever you prefer to label it and it is the source of everything. The only place to find it is right here right now.