Acceptance and Surrender

Eckhart Tolle in The Power of Now teaches that our main difficulty is one of resistance to what is (and a resulting disconnect from Being). This manifests mentally as judgment and emotionally as negativity. I certainly find this to be true as when I get upset it is usually a negative judgment of a situation as wrong, bad, or unfair. We aren't expected to roll over and let bad situations and behaviors continue, but accept that certain causes and conditions brought these situations about out of necessity.

As I like to say, "It had to happen." Why? Because it did. Once we accept what is and surrender to the situation in the moment, we can move forward with much better clarity and wisdom rather than mindless and emotional reactions. The best information I can recommend for this revolutionary and life changing tool is the chapter on acceptance and surrender in The Power of Now and it's smaller companion book Stillness Speaks.

I read this chapter at lunch every time I get bent out of shape at work, don't wait until you do! Part two: We like to think things would be so much better and easier if it was all clear and obvious, black and white. Life's not like that. It is a mystery. Tolle says our main problems are resistance, denial, and separation from life as it is, a mystery. We would like to know why some people are so messed up, why bad things happen to us and others, why we have all the problems we do.

Why is a "killer" question. Often no answer can be found. There is an alternative; simply surrendering to the mystery. Accepting what is, as it is, no questions asked. This doesn't mean resigning ourselves to situations, of ignoring our feelings, wants and needs, but working towards them without attachment to results or resistance to or denial of what is.

For example, I recently developed a heart arrhythmia. Why? Maybe it was how I treated my heart in years past, by not exercising properly, maybe smoking and drinking, maybe not enough rest or the right foods. This one is a bit easier to surrender to because it is impossible to know. All I can do is work on doing the right things now to nurse it back to full health, God willing.

I often think of the lines in the movie Shakespeare in Love: "The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to immanent disaster. So what do we do? Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well. How? I don't know. It's a mystery."