Monday, September 22, 2008

Accepting What Is

I seem to have resolved some really important stuff during my dyad work this weekend. I got a bit deeper into the nuances of self-responsibility that I've been intending. My question, What is Another? took me deeper into myself. One of the results has been releasing a lot of the anger I've been harboring towards Another.

It all comes down to accepting what is. What is, is, regardless of whether I accept it or reject it. The value of accepting what is is for my own well being. And since I'm feeling more accepting of what is right now, this means that I've let go of some attachment to things being different than what they are. Non-attachment serves me well. I feel lighter.

I've been searching for some common ground. The place between what is, and what I want things to be. I've been struggling with the understanding of how to reside in both places at the same time. What is, is, and wanting anything else is folly. Wanting something to be different than what it is is in fact delusional. What is, is real. What is, is the truth. What is, is all that can possibly be in this moment. Why is it that once again I've stuck myself in a place of resisting reality, resisting the truth? Denial is not a pretty thing. It's contemptibly inadequate for what I am aware of and doesn't suit me in the least. Truth of the matter, I'm a bit ashamed of myself.
It doesn't serve me or my relationships.

During one of my dyads I once again found myself on my launching pad. Aha! My commom ground. It looked just like the wooden boat dock I had been on at the lake on Saturday. Nevertheless, a launching pad it was, a good visual that reminded me that in order to move on, to propel myself into my future, I must be fully present in the nowness of what is. Fully present and grounded. What is, is my foundation, my power spot, my sacred space. Excuse me but why have I been resisting the power of my sacred space? I swear, sometimes I'm a lunatic.

Once I am fully present with what is, accepting it, wanting it, loving it, I can move on. Embracing the truth, what is real opens me to so many other possibilities. Resistance keeps me stuck. What is, in this moment is what eventually offers me my freedom, whatever it is. And freedom, if not from pain, at least freedom from suffering from the pain. It offers me the freedom to experience something different after experiencing what is. To appreciate the experience and then move on. But I can't experience something different until I've experienced what is.

I've been struggling with this whole healthy boundaries issue, not knowing how to take care of myself in a manner that seems appropriate without closing my heart down. I've been noticing how my protective stance results from a fear of being hurt, inconvenienced, taken for granted, disrespected, or somehow done wrong. There is surely nothing wrong with the concept of creating healthy boundaries for oneself but when I go into protective mode my heart starts closing down. I've chosen and am committed to keeping my heart open so this hasn't been working for me.

In relationship with Another, it's certainly appropriate for me to set healthy boundaries or guidelines for the relationship (for myself) as long as I'm not judging Another as wrong. Obviously what Another has been choosing (and what I've been going along with) has not been working for me in regards to our relationship, but Another's choice is their business not mine. What is my business? My business is to find another way that does work for me. I have been angry with Another because of agreements that were broken that not only hurt my feelings but inconvenienced me and complicated my life in an uncomfortable way. It was obviously time for me to make some changes, which I did but I did so with quite a bit of judgment and blame. Even though I knew better, I was stuck in a place of making Another wrong.

Why did I do this? Attachment. I was attached to things being different, easier, more equitable and comforting to my heart. What I wanted certainly wasn't unreasonable but I was attached to getting it and also unwilling to see my part in things being as they are. Nothing like sticking up the mechanism and slowing the process down with lots of I need to get what I want, and I need it now, and it's up to you to give it to me! gunk. I've been like a two year old throwing a temper tantrum.

And it's as simple as this: I have not been fully embracing the moment, embracing and accepting and wanting and loving what is--the very thing that grounds me in truth and then allows me to go somewhere different, to create change. Embracing the moment gives me wings to fly out of whatever mess I find myself in. The moment is my escape hatch but only and this is the rub, only if I'm fully present! It gives me freedom, the freedom to embrace what is and then do something differently.

This is not about who is wrong and who is right or about who is being more righteous or aware, who is keeping their agreements and who is not.

Beyond wrong or right there is a field. I will meet you there--Rumi
And it's not about what I do to create healthy boundaries for myself. It's about where I am standing when I create the boundaries. If I'm standing on my launching pad of what is with an open mind and open heart, fully grounded in the moment, those boundaries or no boundaries for that matter will work just fine. If I'm resisting what is, triggered by Another's behavior of what I perceive as their being rude, disrespectful, thoughtless, unkind, uncaring ecetera, then I'm entering into victim mode, and thinking that I've been wronged by another. Blaming and judging Another is a symptom of resistance that leads me down the path to my victimhood. Always. Sometimes I tend to get stuck in wrong and right when wrong and right isn't the issue. It's never the issue. Never. Maybe something is wrong but that's not the point. The point is that the something I'm perceiving as wrong is actually the truth of the moment, it is real, it is what is right here, right now and is exactly what I need to focus on. If somebody has indeed done something that is wrong, that's for them to figure out. The important thing for me is that this something, whatever it may be is my launching pad that I need to be grounded on. To ground myself, I must experience it fully. I must not resist it but breathe into it, embrace it, accept it, want it, love it.

That's a tall order I know. It's difficult to do when I have preferences and then I get something else. How do I deal with something that I just don't like without resisting it? Abraham talks about life as a buffet table and how we don't have to resist and yell No! to the variety of dishes available to us that we don't appreciate. All we have to do is pass them by. But we obviously don't always have the option to pass something by. Sometimes it's right in front of us, in our house, in our face and being shoved down our throats. And sometimes this something disgusts us and makes us gag. It's not always easy. This work isn't for sissies. I learned about the power of non-resistance years ago and I've learned to deal with a lot of unsavory things that come my way, but sometimes, when those things are big (for me) my survival instinct kicks in and the only choices I might be aware of in that moment are fight or flight. When we have a history with something unpleasant or scary Post Traumatic Stress can take control of us before we know what's going on.

But embracing what is is the best survival technique available. If I need to run away, then immediately and fully embracing the danger of what is, is what will tell me to run and will utimately save me. Once I'm fully grounded on my launching pad I then have the option to propel myself into something different, I have the power to create change in my life. This might entail setting healthy boundaries for myself or whatever.

All of this does not negate the fact that we have relationship issues to deal with. If Another is doing things that don't suit me, be it breaking promises or breaking into my home and stealing my stuff, there are a variety of options available for me as to how I choose to continue on in this relationship. If Another is continuously breaking their promises, I could stop setting myself up to be inconvenienced by this scenario. If Another is stealing from me I might start locking up my house or call the police. Again, it's not so much what I do in response to Another's behavior, it's where I am coming from when I do it.

Deep love and committed relationship make these issues tricky and trust plays a big role in relationship. When I love someone I want to trust them to follow through and treat me kindly, even if they have proven to be untrust worthy in the past. Some people can be counted on to follow through in certain situations while being total flakes in other ways. I need to figure out for myself how to best be in relationship with Another in a way that works best for me. A way that allows me to love fully with an open heart while stimultaneously taking care of myself. Another is just who they are, not what I've created of them my mind. If they are untrustworthy, then they are untrustworthy and what exactly am I going to do about it? Because they may never change, even if they say they will. If I set myself up to be disappointed by them over and over again, well that's my choice. But if I choose to continue engaging in the relationship and the same things keep happening...well for one thing, it's not about repressing my disappointment (which may very well be more about my disappointment in myself) but rather it's about experiencing the disappointment fully, and then moving into accepting it, welcoming it, embracing the truth and realness of it in this moment, dealing with it and moving on.

I really should be a bit more understanding with myself in regards to all of this. It's been a huge challenge for me to bear my current disappointments. It's been catastrophic on my psyche. A hell of a lot to embrace. Mostly I attribute this to a very tough summer and the multitude of heart wrenching incidents that manifested in my life one after another. Talk about kicking a girl down and then kicking her over and over again while she's still down. My heart has really been hurting and it's been a challenge to accept the pain and not suffer from it. It's been difficult to find my launching pad but I think I'm back now.

Eckhart Tolle says in The Power of Now:

If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have
three options; remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it
totally. If you want to take responsibility for your life, you must choose
one of those three options, and you must choose now. Then accept the
From my own experience, out of these so called three options-- removing myself from the situation or changing it also includes accepting it. That always comes first.

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