How often do you wish people acted differently?
Probably a lot.
When someone hurts you, do you play the same old negative tape over and over in your mind about how that person could have acted better or somehow differently?
You need to let it go.
Resentment can last a lifetime and cause more wreckage and suffering in our lives than we know. We only resent someone when we think that they could have done better.
How did we get this way?
Conditioning…Genetics…Our Level of Consciousness.
We’re all conditioned. Add our genetics + our level of consciousness = none of us could have done better than we are doing right now.
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We must get to a place where we can forgive. As The Carpenter said 2000 years ago:
“Before you enter the temple, forgive.”
What Does Forgiveness Really Mean?
Simply put, forgiveness means to let go of your perspectives of how everyone else should be – and how you should be. And to simply accept.
The mind says, “Yeah, but how do I do it?”
I would suggest reframing that question. Instead, the best question when it comes to acceptance is:
“What useless thinking is causing suffering?”
The answer is always that you are trying to control what already is. You don’t need to do anything: just stop.
Acceptance is a Game Changer. Try it.
Since I love my dogs, I’ll use them as an example. Emma, my Great Pyrenees, is bred to protect sheep by barking. It’s what she does. I can’t stop her from doing it. Do I take it personally when she doesn’t stop when I tell her to? Of course not. It’s what she is conditioned to do.
My German Shepherd puppy Chloe is smart as hell. She needs constant stimulation, and she’s bred to be told what to do. But sometimes, shit happens. When she gets bored, she chews my socks, knocks something over…and you know what? I accept her.
We need to do that as humans.
When we think others should have acted differently, it’s like swallowing poison and expecting the other person to die. Get it?
When we accept someone’s behavior – even though we may disagree – it changes everything. We are no longer responding like a record dropping down when the internal jukebox button is pressed.
We respond from a place deeper than the mind, where peace, joy, and love are found. And that is where forgiveness – and compassion – are born.
Be Aware of Your Feelings. Learn To Accept. Forgive.
Acceptance of ourselves and others is the very bedrock of changing and waking up to a more fulfilling life. The more acceptance, the more conscious awareness, the more we can be awake and have the power to choose.
If we are not aware and conscious (spiritually speaking), we will become victims of our previous conditioning and genetics.
It takes a certain amount of suffering and “grace” (luck) to surrender and allow more conscious awareness in your life. This is the only place where real change takes place.
Acceptance is About Releasing Attachments
Remember: release your attachment to how you think everyone else should be and how you should be, and accept things as they are.
You are doing the best you can, as I am, and everyone else is.
Just like my Mastiff, Jerry, my Great Pyrenees, Emma, and my German Shepherd Chloe.
Sometimes the experiences we go through are downright dreadful. But it may be just what’s needed for us to become more conscious. What we see as an unfortunate situation, including the pain that it caused, could be precisely what is needed to bring us to a life of more happiness and effectiveness.
When a person causes us pain, it’s usually not easy to accept. But remember, one can rarely cause suffering to others without causing suffering to themselves. Once we realize this, resentment will begin to be replaced by compassion.
Create a Conscious Space for Something New
So, forgive life for not acting the way you would like much of the time. Accept that everyone is doing the best they can – including yourself.
A big part of us becoming more conscious is to learn to accept ourselves and others for where we all are at this moment in time. The ego-mind will sabotage our efforts to become more conscious by imagining that people have the power that they do not.
Knowing that things cannot be different allows you to bring more conscious awareness into each situation. Then you won’t be reacting, and you won’t be bringing past pain into the present. This acceptance allows space for something new to happen in your life – it allows growth to occur.
You will be responding – from a place of compassion. And that’s where true freedom lies.