Acceptance, Suffering and Opportunity

Blogging has been an opportunity for me to push myself beyond my comfort zone.  First, I’m talking about my deepest fears and insecurities to anyone with an internet connection.  Lately, I’m just talking about my ignorance.

And what a vast topic that is.

I have mentioned several times that, as a traditionally left-brained person, I have been exploring my right brain lately out of curiosity, novelty, experimentation, and even new-found respect.  But for me, it’s fairly unexplored territory, though old, familiar ground for many of you.

My latest foray into the right brain has been through the spiritual guide, Eckhart Tolle, and his book A New Earth.   I’d like to start in a place of comfort and confidence, acceptance, before moving into the relative unknown, and that is coincidence.

Tolle reiterates what I believe is one of life’s truths:  that failure to accept reality, what is, is the source of suffering for self and others. For example, if we deny that gravity, taxes, or death exists, if we do not accept what is, then we will suffer. There are so many other truths in our lives, though perhaps less evident, that we also fail to accept and therefore create suffering.

“Life is difficult.…. Once we truly know that life is difficult-once we truly understand and accept it-then life is no longer difficult.” ― M. Scott Peck

We fail to accept that we are not perfect, merely human.

We fail to accept that we cannot control our environment or other people.

We fail to accept that we have to take responsibility for ourselves, our own feelings and our lives.

We fail to accept that we can choose our perspective, and therefore, happiness and peace over stress, anger and resentment.

We fail to accept that we can take action or speak out, and use our power instead of feeling powerless.

We fail to accept that life on earth is precious, and should be protected and treasured.

This I know for sure.

Here’s where I’m less certain.

Tolle states that everything that happens is meant to happen, because it did happen.   There is also what appears to be the magic of coincidence when we are in an acceptance mindset.  According to Tolle, when we are not accepting what is, we are creating resistance within, which creates resistance from the universe.  Events and circumstances do not “cooperate” when we are in resistance mode.  When we release resistance and become open, then the universe opens up, coincidences happen, events become favorable, and our paths open up.

Part of acceptance, according to Tolle, is detaching from our Ego identity* (I call it the left brain).  When we do so, then we can access our connection to the unmanifested – the energy that unites all lives and matter in the universe.  I call that the right brain.

I have found through an informal and decidedly unscientific survey that most people believe that there is no such thing as coincidence – often referring to fate, divine intervention, or something along those lines.  I believe it is some spiritual version of “when one door closes, another opens.” I have found that, in my personal experience, this addage to be very true.  I also know that when we are in an open, unresisting, accepting mindset, that we are able to notice and take action when that new door opens.  Sometimes that connection is not even remotely subtle… but maybe that’s just coincidence?

If we are closed, then we do not notice the open door, and an opportunity is lost.   In other words, if our Ego is tied to a certain identity or path, our true path will not be evident to us since we are closed to that option.  Our true path is communicated to us through our right brain, through our Being, not out Ego.

So, please forgive my amateur reflections on this subject.  I am in acceptance mode regarding my ignorance and am open to the wisdom of others.  And the wisdom will come.  It always does.  Eventually.

*Ego v. Bliss – A Standoff,  My Ego and Me

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