Staircase of Acceptance
Accepting yourself is a broader topic than most people realize. Accepting yourself is rooted in general acceptance. To accept oneself you have to learn how also to embrace life and our surroundings.
The First Step in Accepting Yourself
Step 1: Embracing Your Uniqueness
Everything I teach, everything I work towards: my actions and life… can be summarized as acceptance.
It’s a powerful concept. In living to acceptance, by throwing away judgment and expectations, I have discovered that people respond in kind. They accept me for who I am, in my crazy way. So people refer to me, often in terms of me. For example, since I am leaving the job my boss said in a farewell statement to the staff:
His irreverent manner has forever infected the Olympia office with a healthy dose of, well, of Casey.
Or when my business partner uses terms like:
Well he is using Casey Logic.
I take this to mean, at least I am living as myself successfully as Casey!
In this, a few interesting things pop out.
- Everything is absolutely the same; we are all connected in life.
- Everything is separate and absolutely itself.
- All things including myself are partial reflections of each other.
- Everything I do is possible. Everything is possible except nothing at all.
These overlaying visions have interesting results and form the basis of my actions.
- It’s always possible to connect and reach out and make a difference.
- It’s great to let another be themselves without interference as to do so is to be yourself truly
- Risk and Acceptance go hand in hand as we climb along life.
It’s just a matter of acting, trying and repeating till it works. Failure is not an option instead it’s just a polishing stone for refinement.
Where am I going in all this? Well while living to a lifestyle of acceptance is powerful, it’s also strangely a hard path.
So many reject it unconsciously for something more comfortable, simpler, or more obvious. Also, many people use pain and other sharper aspects of life to build against to lead them to their truth and goal. Not every achievement is possible against a pure lifestyle of acceptance. Defects / Impurities can and do lead to amazing things also.
Taoism is not about making life easy; it’s about acceptance. Acceptance still mixes in all aspects of your humanity to be experienced. Even the painful parts you must touch embrace and then let go of: to be whole at other times of living.
The Second Step in Accepting Yourself
Step 2: Actions of Acceptance
Acceptance is a word: nothing more. It’s what we place behind the word that matters.
Yes, the word captures the essence of what I teach. However, many others have used so many other words to do the same thing. Other Teachers and Masters will use words such as Love, Peace, Fulfillment, Enlightenment, Grace, God… all to say the same thing I teach when I say: “embrace acceptance.”
I walked thru the library last night. Looking at thousands of books. All trying to say the same thing.
You see the truth we seek, the secret, the fulfillment, the acceptance, the grace, the love; and truth isn’t the word itself.
Truth, is within the shape and movement of your life : Your actions, intentions, laughter, tears, embracing of the surrounding world and touching of your own feelings…
All that is a baseline to the true definition of the words we use to guide our path.
The word might be a guide, a shimmering of an idea. You can read thousands upon thousands of books. You can write thousands of thousands of books. But information means nothing unless you act upon it. It’s in how you hold and act upon the word that matters.
What hasn’t been said yet, is your version of the tale.
You mix in your inflection of the word and then perform that within your very life.
So enjoy life as it happens, instead of trying to fulfill it from all those thousands upon thousands of books, and masters and teachers. Yes, guides, teachers, masters, books and such can be used to shorten the harder parts of the path a bit.
But as I just said earlier:
It’s what we place behind the word that matters.
Acceptance requires the reflection of your actions of life to complete.
The Third Step in Accepting Yourself
Step 3: Accept Others
If a person cannot accept others, then in reflection that means seeing something personal and within one’s own life which cannot be accepted.
The above statement has several vital points.
- When having trouble finding acceptance in oneself, then start by accepting others. The process of reflection leads to acceptance.
- To believe you have personal acceptance, but the actions of others bother you… Well, then that indicates still having something to explore for self-improvement.
- If the actions of another person are bothersome beyond acceptance, while it might seem more straightforward to change that person, it’s in fact often easier to change the surrounding situation to improve everything in reflection.
- If having trouble finding acceptance in others, then start by accepting yourself. The process of reflection leads to acceptance.
As a side note, all of this doesn’t mean when someone is doing something terrible to do nothing. We accept that being a living being; we are comprised of our actions. This means tone proactive in your actions to make a difference. It means as social beings we are required to add in our actions to balance out society itself.
Living a life of acceptance doesn’t mean to live a life of no action at all.
Accept life is to be active. Discover that many layers of activity exist, many of which almost seem passive to an outsider but still quite proactive in reality.
The Fourth Step in Accepting Yourself
Step 4: Create a Lifestyle Around Acceptance
Having performed Martial Arts, Yoga, QiGong, being a Poet, an Artist and from several more angles: my perspective is that the goal of these practices focuses down to:
A person should embrace time to explore these and other paths. Each path, while leading to the singular and same spot of acceptance: each path offers unique and interesting perspectives on life and also abilities to explore.
So while I might have discovered acceptance so long ago, that doesn’t mean I have stopped wandering!
I still practice yoga, as my body enjoys becoming more limber and strong. I dance within qi-gong, to be bright and energetic, I write as it clarifies my visions, I practice various Taoist Consciousness exercises to shape my life. Along the way discovering how to do things others would label impossible, knowing along other ways are new wonders and experiences to try.
Well while a final goal of acceptance exists: In reality the journey and wanderings of life are limitless, so enjoy as you explore.
It’s easy for me to write this and be positive. The flip side of this examination isn’t so easy: when unable to accept oneself or answers to you. What is the right path for solutions, for salvation, for healing, for peace? For a person stuck in despair, lost in social mazes or suffering: the point of view I teach will often seem silly, simplistic or in fact impossible to reach.
While all paths root into acceptance, at times, it’s fine to let go of that destination and to just focus on the path of life itself. Take the time to chase down a skill, to polish a talent, to learn music or spend time just boxing life.
The positive aspect being: no matter which path was chosen, it does lead all to the same place. So don’t worry about taking the wrong path, or learning the wrong lessons. Just learn, just embrace it as it happens. It all does come together on its own.
Just don’t be afraid to live, to get hurt , to help others, to do everything it is to be human, since that includes the bad with the good. Then one day it does click all together.
The Fifth Step in Accepting Yourself
Step 5: Allow Yourself to Change
I am also writing this for a few people experiencing a life crisis and asking me for some help in the transformation. For those walking the path of change.
It’s important here for those experiencing crisis, are within a transformative moment of life, not to spiritually abort themselves. To be brave enough to embrace the pain and the changes to transform. Birth is not easy, and it comes with pain. Within the pain, a person will call out for help, does seek a path to minimize the suffering the change is causing and we all will make many mistakes. In fact, the ego does this to trick a person into not changing. The fact is: it takes acceptance and embracing the pain of the change to drive the change to completion to fulfillment. When complete a person knows from the final acceptance, they have of the new form their life takes.
The point again: the path taken in a midlife transformation is irrelevant, provided you complete the journey. The final destination is true self and acceptance of that state of self.
To those experiencing midlife change don’t worry about focusing on what you were, what others want, what you want or even the problems of being incomplete now. Just live the transformation of your path. The whole process will sort itself and resolves upon the acceptance of the change. Acceptance can never be forced but rather occurs naturally upon completion of your change. This point is impossible to teach directly, (how can you teach something which is personally undefinable until after the change).
My advice is:
Initially focus in on many different practices or whims that come along with midlife crisis. Don’t focus on the suffering aspects of the change, focus in upon the more fun aspects of the change which give you energy to try new practices. Ride it through with respect of others (respect for others is important, otherwise you leave too many pissed off people in your wake that you might have to deal with later, while it’s impossible to avoid pissing off everyone, you can limit the damage). Once you let go, then it becomes possible to change and be yourself. might as well learn a few skills along the trip, it won’t hurt (much) and it makes the post change years much more fun with your new found skills.
Acceptance and Healing
What is the baseline for healing?
Healing is based upon acceptance.
To heal is to repair & restructure oneself to an established baseline. That baseline is drawn upon acceptance.
This winds up being a personal definition of how far healing can go: based upon terms of acceptance placed upon life, our bodies. Our soul.
If one accepts a diminished state, then healing is likewise diminished. If one embraces life fully, then the healing process then fulfills out as water fills a bowl.
In Taoism, a person accepts an ever-changing nature. The only limit is what we bound ourselves by in our choices. Healing isn’t a process to push; it’s part of the everyday movement of life. Every day we change, every day, our souls shift (and then heal) into something new.
Once discovering this, healing becomes more than merely a repair process. Instead, the mind and body integrate into a process of embracing those shifting moments, ever becoming what you accept yourself to be. So from this perspective (as it’s part of the movement of the soul), healing is as much a spiritual process as a physical process. It becomes a process of growth.
From a Taoist perspective, on the one hand being complete in every breath and on the other side expanding and changing to something new upon each moment. For a Taoist merely living is the ultimate healing practice, in which it isn’t a process of healing into what you were, but instead transforming constantly anew, upon each breath, upon each morning sunrise. Healing then becomes a state of being.
When you hear about Taoist Masters having a “high energy” about them, It comes out of the very process of being oneself and always transforming into oneself creating a soulful dynamo that drives a Taoist Master’s healing ability.
We are all healers, in taking the time to be ourselves.
The Last Step of Accepting Yourself
Becoming Your Master
An interesting thing happens along the way of accepting yourself. You wake up and are your master of life. People have the wrong expectations what mastery means in life. People think being a master is to be complete and flawless.
Becoming a Master: will not resolve every ill.
Even the Dali Lama has his hard days to work through and move against.
Acceptance doesn’t remove problems; if it did, we wouldn’t be human.
Acceptance makes it possible to enjoy life each day fully and find many answers to every situation. Permitting us to choose and pick our path, rather than be forced to walk to a single set of issues.
Acceptance makes it possible to work past each challenge and then in kindness help others past theirs when they willingly accept a shared hand.
Knowing this: don’t strive for perfection too fast in life…
Give yourself time to dally and enjoy each problem as it happens. Otherwise, you miss the view as you climb the tree known as life.
Acceptance is not passive, its embracing and moving into your life. The life you choose to full fill!