On the Subject of Acceptance
There was a little girl
Who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good,
She was very very good
But when she was bad,
She was horrid.
Acceptance is the corner stone of true continual spiritual awakening. Acceptance is a fearful and terrible thing to the little me fighting to be right all of the time. The little me asks, ‘If I accept everything, where will I be able to assert myself? What will I control? Where will I be?’
However, without acceptance, we cannot align ourselves to reality and we will only ever be forcing ourselves to be separate and apart. We will only be projecting a manufactured limitation on what is essentially the great mystery. In short, we are constantly trying to place mental limits on life itself, in an effort to feel some sort of control and safety.
Once I began practicing acceptance, I was horrified to discover a vicious and bad tempered child residing within me. There was a bad tempered voice screaming deep down within my being and I had been repressing it for years as ‘bad’ and unwelcome, especially considering my profession as a yoga instructor and teacher. I was shocked to find the rage I remember as a 10 year old still screaming. It was difficult to admit that the voice was there. I admit I tried to repress it again, but the deeper my practice became, the more I couldn’t turn away from the truth of my own nature.
The voice screamed with hatred. It was angry, violent, vicious, vindictive and hurt and used foul language. I felt sick when I sat with it. It was wrapped around my solar plexus; the self esteem centre. It’s tentacles infiltrated each and every chakra point and infected my emotions, my love, my physical well being, my confidence. Admitting and accepting this voice was one of the hardest and most rewarding practices of the last few years. Just sitting with it, without judgment, and with as much love and acceptance as I could muster. It hasn’t disappeared completely yet. But it’s voice is much softer and less insistent and it doesn’t hurt to sit with it any more.
But let’s be honest. I can trace this rage back to an incident, when I was about 10 years old. My brother and I were sitting outside, beside our house. We were sitting back to back. We had been bickering and my father decided we were to sit with each other until it was settled. I was angry. But my brother was laughing. I remember him laughing and there was a clear light in his eyes. I couldn’t think straight. I was full of rage and hate and I started to hit him. He just held his legs up to his chest and laughed. He didn’t seem to care at all. I screamed and hit and kicked. At some point I preferred to hurt myself and I began rubbing my arms into the ground, and as the pain and the high mental stress became too much for me, I drifted off. It’s my first conscious memory of leaving my body. I was above. Everything was slow and soft and I didn’t feel pain at all. I was just watching. I could see my brother laughing and rocking on his bottom, his legs pulled up to his chest. I could see my wild head and I was screaming and rubbing my arms into the ground.
When life got beyond my comfort zone, I noticed a pattern of returning to rage and self-punishment, perhaps as a way to escape my body. Perhaps I felt there was a reward at the end, if I just got angry enough.
For many years I just repressed it. It was not what I believed in. I refused to give in to rage, and I kept a tight leash on my temper. It wasn’t until I started with the acceptance process in my late 30’s that I could truly integrate this aspect back into my life. Part of the path to allowing my consciousness to feel safe enough to admit this rage was working with the child archetype with a dear friend and teacher.
It’s ok. Just as it is. It’s ok and you are safe.
Breathe in and out. It’s all you need in this moment.