Thursday, March 31, 2011

Accepting the Unacceptable

An intensely vulnerable and beautiful blog post from my student, Susan.

(Before you read what is to come, I would like to thank Tara Brach for sharing her words on Radical Acceptance. There is a specific part of the talk that helped me accept a recent event in a profound way. I chose to listen to the audio talk only days before having this experience and not knowing why I chose to do so until now. I’d also like to thank all of my other teachers, including Jim, for helping me trust and know myself and my intuition. Tara Brach’s Web site is located at www.tarabrach.com).

I finally arrived at my destination. It’s been a long afternoon. Up until this moment, I surprised myself at being able to stay in the present moment (What a good ego I have). It wasn’t the forty-minute commute that bothered me or being redirected to three other buildings downtown before coming to the building that ended up being conveniently located diagonally across from the parking garage all along. I visited this building a year ago when I didn’t know what was going to come of my life. I am in a much different kind of space now, but the same type of uncertainty lingers around me. I find comfort in the uncertainty, unlike before.

Here I am sitting across the desk of the young man who is to help me. I am confronted with the past once again. No one else but me would notice the symbolic meaning of all the penguin pictures and trinkets that decorate the man’s desk to liven up his cubicle. The sight of it allows me to smile at the aversion that is arising within.

Within five minutes I am given the unfortunate news. Emotions build up against the dam which is my ego. I politely thank him for his time and stand up to leave. I can feel the pressure of the tears building up in my eyes. I quietly exit the room.

Within a matter of moments, I find myself leaning against the inside of one of the restroom stalls located adjacent to the room I just exited. The tears begin to flow uncontrollably down my cheeks. My breath is shallow and weak. There are so many emotions coming to me; I find it difficult to identify them all. I feel like I lost control.

My breath deepens and I spontaneously ask myself, “Can I be in this moment just as it is? Can I accept this moment just as it is?” My breath deepens more. As quickly as my ego says “no” the innate wisdom within me responds with, “yes.” I let the tears flow. Then I try to feel the tremendous anger within me. I do the same for the other emotions I am feeling. It doesn’t seem to help. Then I realize in order to be in this moment I not only have to feel it, but I have to consciously welcome it. The tears are still flowing, and I can taste the salty flavor of them on my lips. With the side of the bathroom stall continuing to hold me up, I clutch my purse as well as the email from my lawyer to my side. My hands spontaneously come together in prayer form. I bring them towards my forehead and gently bow. More anger comes to me initially. Then suddenly the anger begins to dissolve. I am almost surprised. I recognize and physically bow to the sadness, the lonesomeness, the resentment, and any other negative emotion I am experiencing one at a time. For the first time I can truly feel each emotion as it peaks and fades. It is a part of me and shouldn’t be judged. The physical act of performing the practice seemed foreign, but comforting at the same time. It helped, and I didn’t know why. Perhaps I had never tried to do such a thing before while experiencing these emotions at such a high intensity.

My breath begins to deepen and become more regular as I exhale forcefully. Softening. The tears slowly cease. This time, I know I can accept this moment instead of just saying it. A peaceful knowing embraces me as I unlock the bathroom stall and see the reflection of my red eyes in the mirror before me. I am thankful to have this experience. Truly thankful.

Susan started to cultivate a deeper relationship with the Creator four years ago when she was introduced to the works of Eckhart Tolle's, "The Power of Now" by Jim Tolles. Her life has been transformed in countless ways since then.
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