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Accepting things, why is it so hard?

Discussion in 'Mind, Body & Spirit' started by RunBananaRun, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. RunBananaRun

    RunBananaRun Member

    Hello !

    Why is it so hard to accept some things in life and why is it harder for some people than for other?
    What do you think about this?

    Thanks for answers


  2. GilesC

    GilesC Member

    Hi David,

    What needs to be accepted? Everything just is.

    Non-acceptance is people's minds playing games with them.

    As an example, imagine you've lost your job. The world becomes a terrible place, everything in your life seems as if it's falling to pieces, you're going to run out of money, lose your house, your family, end up living on the street, and there's no hope of you getting another job, especially in the current financial climate.


    So, you've lost your job. You can hang onto the idea that everything will fall to pieces for you, but you can only really act in the present moment. In the present moment you have what you have. If you hold onto those ideas of the future then you will waste all your time worrying about them and not achieve anything. How can you possibly act on what is in front of you now if your mind is stuck elsewhere.

    We all have choices and essentially it comes down to a simple choice of "yes" and "no".

    Example, in the above situation, it's a case of "do you want to live a future where everything is terrible rather than everything being wonderful". Given that choice, would anybody seriously answer "yes"? of course not.

    Nobody else can make the choices for you, only you can. Our mind wants to make choices that are illogical. It likes to play games and give us this idea that there is something or someone else 'out there' that will do it all for us and make it better. There isn't, there is only you and you are the one who has to make the choice that you want to let the cr*p go and get on with living. Of course there are people who can help you, but unless you want to help yourself, then those people can do nothing for you. Wanting to accept things and make the positive choice for yourself starts with You and only You.

    Yes, of course there are people who we come across who seem unable to accept things. They are stuck under the control of their mind and honestly know no different. We can only hope that they come to some sort of realisation and make the right choice for themselves to let their issue go and start to move on. This is something commonly seen in people who experience depression. They may go through years of ups and downs, and in some cases they go so far down that they have what is commonly referred to as a 'breakdown'. Usually this is the point where they believe they've hit 'rock bottom' and the only way is up. This is, for them, the point of realisation that things can be better, but it's up to them to make that choice.

    I could go on, but I think you get the idea. :)


  3. Edwin

    Edwin Member

    You have a series of very good questions David !

    It is my pleasure to answer them ! :)

    Giles, I read your excellent answer while I was posting mine, and I think you have it covered allready, but maybe my answer will still be of use as well.

    First of all, everything that happens is as it is.
    We have gotten so used to reacting to everything, that we consider it acting, but really, we have not acted even once in our entire life.
    Everything we do is essentially a reaction to whatever occurs.

    Accepting is something that is done instantly by our senses and our Self.
    When you see a tree, there is no doubt about what you see.
    It is immediately accepted as such.

    Then the mind comes in, and comes up with the word "Tree". That's a label.
    Once it is labeled, it can be filed.
    When it is filed under "tree" it will be filed as a standard file, "Tree", Brown trunk, green leaves.
    Now the bark of the tree may be grey, but when I would ask you later what the tree looks like, you will most likely say " It was a tree, what can I say, brown trunk, green leaves ".
    So as soon as the mind comes in, your perception, our immediate acceptance of what is is replaced by the image in your mind.

    But what if you drive into that tree with your car while parking ?

    "What kind of idiot plants a tree so close to a parkingspot"
    "Oh man ! And the car wasn't even paid for in full"
    "You think my mom would notice the dent I put in her new car ?"

    All kinds of thoughts go through your mind. Or in fact, they come up from your mind, and go through consciousness.

    This is resistance that comes from the mind. None of this resistance can take away the dent in the car. No word uttered by the mind can change the situation that is.
    The thoughts are supposed to help you, and reactions like this are of no use.

    "I better contact a garage and have this fixed" however is a useful reaction.

    Identifying thoughts as more or less useful is easyest done when, ( here comes my poetic streak ) you hold the thought in the light of consciousness to find out which one can be seen through as false.
    In other words, judge the thoughts that come up. There is no filter on thoughts, they come up because the mind is constantly trying to find relevant thoughts and/or memories for your situation. But the mind cannot judge if it is relevant or useful. That has to be done by you.

    But we have been programmed to think that the thoughts are you, that this is who you are, and that thoughts have to be believed as true no matter what.

    But if the thoughts that come up can be seen, whitnessed, doesn't that mean that there is some kind of space between your thoughts and you ?
  4. RunBananaRun

    RunBananaRun Member

    Hey guys

    thanks for your answers once again! You are right.

    I see it as you guys do, Tolle opened my eyes to that.

    we are labeling things, judging and a victim of are unconscious mind and so we suffer.

    As far as I get it, I would say someones ego is simply stronger than someone else ego and they dont want to accept because they get their self-esteem out of it.

    There is definately some space to react to emotions,, you are right. eckhart Tolle says, stephen r. Covey says and many more.

    The thing I dont get is: How to still live without loosing total identity? Ye of course, this is it, what Tolle ment, you have to loose it. But, what do you think of it? It can be a nice feeling but is it possible? What impacts does it have on your job, realtionships and so on?
    I reached some point of consciousness when I read Tolle and I was frightened to loose my brain. For exmaple the exclusivitystatus of my belovedones is shrinking till it doesnt exist anymore, which is basically killing my ego till I love anyone the same. But it is very very hard for me. This is living like Jesus, Buddha or other people with such an consciousness.
    What about you?

    Is the final point of meditation reachable with something like a "normal" life? Why Richard Gere for example as Buddhist, still is richer than most other people? Is it a flaw of integrity or anything I dont get?

    Dont be shy to give long answers ;) And thank you very much in advance, you are both helping me very much !

    Best regards

  5. Midnight

    Midnight Member

    It's good to see that my own breakthroughs and understanding of acceptance is pretty much along the lines of what Giles and Edwin have posted. Great posts. :) I'll try to add something new to this conversation...

    Your mind has been used to resisting things your entire life. Everything it doesn't want (pretty much anything except for pleasure, and happiness) it resists. The funny thing is that it puts more energy and attention into the thing it doesn't want. Which is the opposite of what it's trying to accomplish. From that. we can gather resistance is not a good way to go about living life.

    From my understanding of the physiology of the mind, as children, our brains are fully in sync and all the individual parts work together. As we specialize different parts because of various activities we do as we grow up, some parts get stronger, or more specialized from continuous use, while others atrophy from lack of use. The brain is now out of sync. Which is the cause of all the self created "difficulty" and complexity people percieve in life.

    That's why everyone looks so fondly at their memories of childhood. They look at it as a time where everything was simple and you were happy living in the moment.

    Think of it this way, tasks like walking and breathing are very simple because your body works in sync. Break your leg, or ruin your lungs and suddenly these normally simple tasks are given more complexity. The same goes for the brain.

    Meditation and LF allows your brain to be in sync once again. When your brain works in sync with itself, things like letting go and acceptance become easy once again. Your mind resists because it believes it's the only way to cope. But it is the reason for everybody's suffering.

    It takes time, as the benefits of meditation are cumulative. You gain benefits as you grow. You'll get there. I've only recently started understanding this myself after 6 months of meditation. My breakthrough came to me while listening to The Power of Now for the third time.

    Remember, happiness isn't the only emotion that's allowed. Everything already happened, so it's pretty insane to not accept it as it is. Resistance does not change anything. Your mind might fool you into thinking acceptance is giving up, or giving in, or something, but that is not true.

    If you find you can't accept something, accept that you can't accept it. It's fine.

    Acceptance is the key to an open heart, and living life through your true self!
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2010
  6. Edwin

    Edwin Member

    Losing the ego sounds quite scary.

    But, does that ego even exist ? To lose it you have to own one first right ?
    The reason I don't like the word ego that much anymore is because it has become a solid word, like an ego-bone or something. But all it is, is just a short way to describe the word self-image.

    The way you see yourself. The image you created to describe yourself.
    No matter how positive or negative your self-image is, it can never ever be complete. You are always infinately more than what you think you are.

    It's like a picture of a really nice car. It can be nice to look at, but you can never drive it, right ?
    Or how about a roadsign saying "Amsterdam, 7 km", it's useful, but you can't live in it !

    The brain wants to label everything, so it can be filed and stored.
    But it also tries to label things that don't exist, or can never be described.

    One of the most classic examples that still cracks me up is the word "hole".
    What is a hole ? Define it's characteristics !
    The best one I have heard so far is "nothing with something around it".
    Pure nonsense ! And how can you describe who you are ?

    In the movie "anger management" is a brilliant example, where the "anger management guru" Dr Buddy Rydell ( played by Jack Nicholson ) asks the lead player Dave Buznik ( Adam Sandler ) "Who are you ?"
    Dave starts by saying he is a businessman, but dr Rydell then says: "I didn't ask you what you do for a living, I want to know who you are".
    So, Dave starts listing his hobby's, what he does for fun and such.
    Again, dr Rydell says: "I don't want to know your hobby's, who are you ?"
    And Dave bursts into anger saying "What do you want to know ? :mad:"

    How can you really describe yourself ? Can you ?

    That what you really are is allready there. Realising that you are not who you think you are doesn't really change that much in your life. Losing your self image doesn't change who you have been from the beginning, but it does give you a lot more peace of mind knowing that you don't have to defend your self-image anymore. Whatever image others have of you doesn't bother you anymore, because you have nothing to compare it with anymore.

    The story of your life becomes less important because you know who you really are.

    Since your brain doesn't have to constantly come up with ways to defend your self-image, it can relax, and no more energy is wasted on this.

    Now you have a lot of energy to spare for your everyday life, and your thoughts don't keep you from concentrating on the job at hand anymore.
    And thus you will become better at your job, pick up things from your partner in your relationship that you would have missed before, so your relationship with your partner will improve as well.

    But most people won't notice an immense change in you, in who you really are. You are still the same, only more focused, and more relaxed. You haven't really lost your ego ( great, I went to work today and I remembered my i-phoney but forgot all about bringing my ego :p have you seen it lying around somewhere ? I was near the coffee table when I dropped it :D ) because it never existed !

    You are who you are today allready, you just think you are someone different ! :cool:
  7. GilesC

    GilesC Member

    Ok, let's start with this... ;)

    Who are YOU?

    We go around thinking we are for example, a mother or father, but when we go to work, are we a mother or father then? No, we're an employee. What about when we go out with our friends to the pub, are we a mother or father then? No, we're a friend? etc. etc. But hang on, we can't be all of these things all of the time, so the only truth is that we are in fact none of these things, these are just personalities we have. We put our our "work personality" when we go to work, our "friend personality" when out with our friends, our "mother/father personality" when with our children, etc. Personality comes from the latin word Persona which means "mask". These personalities are all masks we wear, and hence why Shakespear said in one of his plays "All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players".

    The real You, the True Self, is what is referred to in some circles as the Unchanging Observer, because if there is something you can observe, whether that is thoughts, emotions, personalities etc. those cannot be you as the True YOU is observing them. The one thing it can't observe is itself and that is why we have trouble identifying with it. You can't identify with your true Self, because identification requires a connection between You and Something Else. When there is You and Something Else, this creates Duality hence why this concept of the True Self and non-duality is the underlying principle of Advaita Vedanta (Advaita meaning "Not two"), which is also what Tolle and others are referring to in their interpretations. Although you can't identify with your True Self, you do have an Awareness and that Awareness (which itself is the True Self) simply knows of it's own existence.

    So when you are talking of letting things go, what are you letting go of? When you talk of losing your identity, what are you losing? You cannot lose your True Self, that Unchanging Observer, because it is something that never changes and simply always IS. What you can choose to let go of is the personalities, the masks and the acting of which you are attached to. By doing so, you will not miraculously disappear, but instead you will become One who acts in the present moment from what is infront of you. Everything will be free of judgement and preconceived ideas and the Truth will simply appear in all interaction with the Universe. Of course, this is not something that people find easy to do, because the ego and the mind hold on strongly to the attachments, but with practice you can lessen the effects of these. (Ego in sanskrit is Ahankara, where Aham (Ahan) is the True Self, and Kara is the identification with anything. When the True Self identifies with something it creates AhanKara, or ego, that sense that something belongs to you and is not part of the oneness of everything. Every time we say "my <this>" or "my <that>" this is the ego creating a dualistic personality.)

    We can't explain the motives of other people, only they know the true answer. However, even though the Buddhist philosophy teaches letting go of attachments, this doesn't mean that people have to give up all their belongings and seek to live a life without earning money etc. It means that they should not hold attachment to those things. For example, if he were to lose those things i.e. something get's stolen or lost in a fire etc. and he lets this bring up emotions of loss and devestation etc. then he has attachment to them. If however, he simply accepts that they have gone then he has no attachment and is following Buddhist philosophy. As they teach in Buddhism, we come into this world with nothing and we leave with nothing, so there is no point in becoming attached to material things. It may be that Richard Gere earns loads of money and is richer than others, but he may also use that money for good causes, to relieve the suffering of others without seeking anything for himself in return. That would be living by Buddhist Dharma. ;)



    Edit: Ah, you beat me to it this time Edwin. hehe!
  8. Edwin

    Edwin Member

    Only in time, not in content ;)
  9. RunBananaRun

    RunBananaRun Member

    Yeppa :D

    Perfect guys, that makes sense for me, I am going to improve everything given this sort of thinking. Thanks very much.

    So its fine to get a special job, even try to get rich, as long as you dont get attached to it too much, so that you dont suffer, when you loose anything.

    I wont ask much more at this point, because there are not questions about this, thanks for explaining it with so much detail!

    I believe I understood so far, thank you.

    What about your level of consciousness. Are you ever drinking alcohol? One more thing, what about things in the past? For example, you have cheated your partner. The bad feeling only goes away if you tell him. What if you dont have a bad feeling about that? I wrote down different questions when I was reading Tolle.

    Thanks again guys, dont stop to feed me please :)

    Best regards


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