April 17

Today's quotation:

Life has no other discipline to impose, if we would but
realize it, than to accept life unquestioningly.
Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run
away from, everything we deny, denigrate, or despise,
serves to defeat us in the end.  What seems nasty,
painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy, and strength, if faced with an open mind.  Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.

Henry Miller

Today's Meditation:

Acceptance is one of the most powerful tools that we have in our lives, yet many of us fight the idea of accepting things that we don't like until it's impossible for us even to consider doing so.  And we shouldn't be surprised--after all, most of our role models spend much of their time trying to change things that they don't like, teaching us that anything that goes against our beliefs or ideals is somehow necessarily wrong.  And if it's wrong, we should try to change it or avoid it completely.

The people who are able to accept life as it is and other people as they are, though, live less stressful and more compassionate lives.  They don't spend their time trying to change others to fit their ideas of how people should be, so they don't face the frustration of failure when the other people rebel or reject their efforts.  Once I accept a person or a situation, I can look at it from a different perspective and learn from it, and grow myself as a result of learning from something that I might have rejected in other circumstances.

Life is here, and life is real.  No matter how hard we try, we can't change it and if we try to do so we'll be beating our heads against a wall--hurting ourselves a lot but not making a dent in the wall.  The only option that makes sense, that can keep us sane and in balance, is to accept life as it is and to work with it as it comes to us rather than trying to make it turn out as we think it should.

When we accept life, we see its beauty more fully and we appreciate all that it's given us much more deeply.

Questions to consider:

What kinds of things do you run away from or deny?

What kinds of beautiful things does life give to you every day?  Do you always recognize them and appreciate them?

How many things that have seemed to be bad in your life have turned out to be beautiful?

For further thought:

Acceptance of one's life has nothing to do with resignation;
it does not mean running away from the struggle.  On the
contrary it means accepting it as it comes. . . .
To accept is to say yes to life in its entirety.

Paul Tournier

  

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