Accepting Myself As I Am Right Now

Sometimes it’s hard to accept myself as I am right now. There’s the chronic pain, the weight issues, all the various ways I (mistakenly) feel less than worthy. Yet, a big part of mindfulness in daily life is the kind of Radical Acceptance that one of my favorite authors and teachers, Tara Brach, talks about.

So one day I honestly asked myself, “Can I accept myself just as I am right now?” I wasn’t sure.

Then it dawned on me, maybe accepting things as they are right now isn’t so bad. Accepting things as they are right now doesn’t mean giving in to some kind of inevitability that they’ll always be that way. Just the contrary. One thing we can be absolutely sure about is that the conditions of our lives and our being are always changing.

So things might get better. Things might get worse. I might gain weight. I might lose weight. But for the moment, things are as they are. So can I accept that? Just for now? And be kind and gentle with myself at the same time?

Because that’s the challenge of being fully present in this moment just as it is. We have to learn how to…

 

Facing Emotion Like Waves on the Ocean

When we regularly sit and quiet our mind, the arising of emotion is inevitable. Stilling the mind creates internal space, and sometimes what arises in that space are emotions that need to be integrated. Unintegrated emotion – emotional content that has been repressed or ignored – can be quite problematic, even leading to conditions like chronic pain and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

So a large part of the contemplative journey is learning face our emotions, especially in the context of meditation or silent prayer. Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche likens it to sitting with the heart of a warrior.

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