A Thanksgiving of Acceptance
To begin, let's dissect this word: thanksgiving, perhaps in our understanding of modern English, it can be helpful to flip the words, so that it reads Giving Thanks. This week as we move and breath through our worlds, as we cross paths with one another, as we bump into one another, as we flow by strangers, can we notice the space in between, can we notice the space where we too connect. The simultaneous existence of both; the physical matter interchange of connection, and the space of air and space between us. In both of these realms can you begin to bring into consciousness something or someone that you are grateful for?
Now lets see if we can add one layer of depth here; Acceptance. Can we begin to meditate on a situation that has been quite challenging, something that doesn't feel so lovely. Something that we instinctively want to push away due to feelings of shame, hurt, or even confusion. Perhaps this is a perceived enemy or situation of utter frustration. What can these situations teach us about ourselves. Whether it is a spat with a partner, loved one or friend, or challenging encounter throughout the day, you're stuck in traffic, late to a meeting, spilled coffee on yourself on your way to work. The lesson of acceptance is not in the actual thing that has 'happened to you', the work lies in noticing your reaction to the situation at hand. Can you become the observer of all that befalls you, and notice how your behavior your emotions and your mental narrative shape your experience. Can you begin to practice Gratitude towards all those situations that have come your way. Perhaps an unwelcome event comes to mind, that to this day, makes you feel sad, or angry, less than, or not good enough. Can you notice that narrative. Okay good, you've brought it into consciousness. Now can you begin to explore what you may have learned from that past situation. Can you begin to explore the lesson behind it? Can you go so far as to be grateful for the experience in total?
I was given this prayer long ago, by a dear friend, and mentor. When I first read this I wanted to believe that I was one of the 'rare' ones, not caught up in the external world of vanity, ego, and all of its many trappings. I have kept this writing with me over many moves, and every now and then I take it out reassess any progress I've made on my journey towards Acceptance. Perhaps it will resonate with you today, and may you take some of your own Acceptance with you into this holiday season:
"Reared as we were in a youth and beauty oriented society, we measured ourselves by our ornamental value.
Rare is the one who doesn't long for a svelte body, firm, pretty, a smooth complexion. Rare is the one who feels content, truly satisfied with their total person. We are often torn between wanting to be noticed and yet not wanting eyes to gaze upon us.
We are all that we need to be today, at this moment. And we have an inner beauty, each of us, that is our real blessing in the lives of others. Our inner beauty will shine forth if we invite it to do so. Whatever our outer appearance, it doesn't gently touch or bring relief where suffering is--like our words which come from the heart, the home of our inner beauty.
Perhaps a better mirror for reflecting our true beauty is the presence or absence of friends in our lives. We each have known stunning women who seemed to cast only cold glances our way and handsome men who arrogantly belittled others. It's our inner beauty that is valued by others. The surprise in store for each of us is discovering that the glow of our inner beauty transforms our outer appearance too.
Today I will take a long look at where I am today and be grateful for my place. It's right for me, now, and is preparing me for the adventure ahead."
-- Janet Harris