There are only two possible responses to every challenge–balanced acceptance or embittered resistance. Acceptance is freedom. Resistance is suffering.  ~Sylvia Boorstein, in Pay Attention, for Goodness’ Sake

I’m not sure I agree with any statement limiting possible responses to two.  However, the point is a good one: We can struggle or we can go with the flow. And in my experience, struggling usually makes things worse. I have wasted a lot of energy resisting. I don’t think this means we can’t work to make the world a better place; I just think that we must wholeheartedly accept what is and start there.

Boorstein’s choice of adjective is interesting–not just (blind) acceptance, but balanced acceptance. Both feet on the ground, a steady equanimity, makes this complete acceptance possible. And vice versa!


2 Responses to Acceptance

  1. Stacie says:

    I call it “swimming in what is” and it is often difficult! If you have studied Buddhism then perhaps you have heard of tonglen practice. Basically it calls for breathing in all the pain, anger, resistance, negative feelings, and breathing out peace and happiness. Sounds just the opposite of what we are inclined to do, doesnt it? When I was bedridden with 7 broken ribs I was in so much pain I couldn’t even breathe. I tried tonglen and it really helped.

  2. quotesqueen says:

    I agree, very hard to swim in what is…we are so bent on controlling things! I’m not ready for tonglen yet, although I have tried it. Glad it helped you, though.

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