Positivity Press #26

With a Heart for Any Fate

Getting to “Acceptance”

Samarender Reddy

(Blogs at https://selfrealization.home.blog/)

 

“The Ordainer controls the fate of souls in accordance with their past deeds. Whatever is destined not to happen will not happen, try how hard you may. Whatever is destined to happen will happen, do what you may to stop it. This is certain. The best course, therefore, is to remain silent.” — Ramana Maharshi

 

“Suffering is due to non-acceptance.” — Nisargadatta Maharaj

 

“You cannot be both unhappy and fully present in the Now.” – Eckhart Tolle

 

It happened over a cup of coffee with my brother-in-law Suresh Boddapati in Starbucks of Banjara Hills, Hyderabad. Over the past week or so, I had been discussing with Suresh some philosophical ideas and concepts, as we often do, on this visit of his to India, and the topic of “acceptance” and “living in the now” came up. Initially, the discussion veered around, with me raising various objections as to why I did not find “acceptance” acceptable as I was not getting a handle on that concept. One objection I raised was, “Does acceptance mean we do not do anything about the situation we find ourselves in? Is acceptance a passive way of being?” He said, “No, acceptance does not mean you do not plan for the future and take action accordingly. What it means is that you are doing that from a place of acceptance, that is, without mental agitation and agony over the current situation you find yourself in.” Cracks were beginning to develop in my resistance to getting to acceptance.

 

Then a few days later as we were sitting in Starbucks and sipping coffee it suddenly dawned on me that acceptance and living in the now were great concepts and they started to make sense. Perhaps what triggered the shift in understanding were the answers that Suresh gave to these questions that I posed to him: “Suppose you were a prisoner of war, say in Abu Ghraib prison, and were being tortured. Would you still be in acceptance in that scenario?” Suresh replied as a matter of factly, “Well, what choice would I have other than to accept and bear the physical pain. But mentally I would not suffer because I would be in a state of acceptance because by being in a state of non-acceptance I would be adding another layer of mental suffering onto the physical pain.” I persisted and asked, “What if you lost your job and could not find another job and so were forced to become homeless?” Suresh replied, “Well, in that case, again, what choice would I have other than to accept and adjust to being homeless and figure out whatever it is that homeless people do to get by.” Those replies of his did it for me, in that, I saw at once that if acceptance made sense even in a state of being tortured or homeless then it has to make sense in every other scenario and circumstance or life situation you find yourself in. I was almost readying myself to say, “Life, bring it on.”

 

Over the next day or so, as I mulled over that conversation with Suresh, the following became clear to me: Stress, worry, anxiety, fear, despair, dread, and unhappiness are symptoms of non-acceptance of “what is” or the present moment, and symptoms of not living in the Now but in the past and future. Realising that these negative states do not change “what is” or what will be and merely cause suffering one sees the sanity in acceptance and living in the now. Of course, acceptance and living in the now do not mean that if there is some action you can take to see if you can better the situation in some way you should not. Only thing is acceptance and living in the now means such action is not accompanied by unnecessary and futile thinking and mental commentary in the form of stress, worry, anxiety, fear, despair, dread, and unhappiness. You see, acceptance and living in the now calms down the frenzied and incessant thinking, and in that stillness, the inner intelligence operates and guides the mind to deal with “what is” and hence right action ensues appropriate for the present moment. Non-acceptance of “what is” is self-created suffering.

 

Stress, worry, anxiety, fear, despair, dread, and unhappiness do not contribute to positive outcomes in the future; if anything, they contribute to negative outcomes in the future. Not only that, but they also ruin the present. So, it makes sense to dump them at once by getting to acceptance of the present or “what is’. The constant expectation of a desired outcome in the future generates stress, worry, anxiety, and fear as to whether it will come to pass or not. But “a heart for any fate”, or in other words, acceptance, eliminates them. And you need to have “a heart for any fate” because when the fate comes to fruition in some future present you have no choice but to face it and any amount of stress, worry, anxiety, fear, despair, dread and unhappiness at that time, which is non-acceptance, is not going to change the situation and is merely going to ruin that present without contributing anything positive toward future outcomes. That is why Ramana Maharshi says, in the quote at the beginning, the best course is to remain silent (that is, cut off thinking in the form of stress, worry, anxiety, and fear) in the face of predetermined fate, which amounts to acceptance of any fate that befalls us – not doing so only adds to the suffering without changing the course of future events.

 

How does acceptance tie in with living in the Now? Non-acceptance means your mind will be thinking in the form of regret, stress, worry, anxiety, and fear, and what are they but synonymous with living in the past or future. Acceptance at once cuts off such thinking and leads to a still mind, and thus you find yourselves grounded and attuned to the now. And when, thus, you get to acceptance and living in the now, you reach a state of inner calm and peace. In that state whatever you do will be in a state of “flow”.  When you function in life with such acceptance and living in the now you are basically surrendering to “what is” or what life brings to your doorstep, and what is that but living in surrender to God’s will. And surrender, as Ramana Maharshi pointed out, is one of the two paths that lead one to enlightenment or self-realisation, the other path being self-enquiry.

If you want to share positivity here at The Positivity Press send in your positive news with pics and the link to your blog (if you want) to postpositivity@gmail.com

Positivity Press #19

A warm hello from South Africa, guys and girls! 

My message to you all is: Stay + 

Why?

I am speaking from my own experience when I say, I have no job certainty after July.  When a potential relationship came my way after years, it ended before it began. I am Type 1 Diabetic and recently I have taken two steps forward with my eating habits, and I’ve had moments just as recently when it felt like I took three steps backwards. My family is going through relational struggles and on top of that finances are not the best they have ever been.

That is my sob story which you may relate to. However, I choose to make these positive affirmations:

I will receive employment from the end of July onwards. 

I have been patient and I will meet the right person soon.

I will make healthy choices when it comes to my eating habits and physical activity. 

My family will heal relationally and we will get on our feet again.

My encouragement to anybody dealing with any negativity at this moment is to acknowledge it and then decide by faith that it is not the end, that things will change for the best. Each dream you have is valid and can come true.

If you want to share positivity here at The Positivity Press send in your positive news with pics and the link to your blog (if you want) to postpositivity@gmail.com

Positivity Press #17

I have recently been feeling pretty drained and unenthusiastic about my daily routine, but I’ve made it a point the last month to spend lots of time outdoors. It’s really been helping! Getting up, going for walks, going to parks, etc. has brought so much literal and metaphorical sunshine into my days!
Thanks and have a great day!
Elly
If you want to share positivity here at The Positivity Press send in your positive news with pics and the link to your blog (if you want) to postpositivity@gmail.com

Positivity Press #15

There are moments in our lives when we can’t help but feel proud. Like being the reason behind your friends’ or loved one’s smiles. Or cracking jokes and doing antics just so that your mother laughs after a long day of work. Or proud moments that only belong to you. Like that one time you were awarded a trophy or when your talent finally got appreciated.

Did you ever need to feel motivated to make your friends smile or make your Mom laugh? Was it motivation that brought you that trophy? No. It was your dedication to give back. Your will to achieve something.
My point is: Sometimes, instead of morning motivation, all you need is a gentle reminder to give back. Give back to others. Give back to yourself.
Have you ever slept thinking that you failed today? Well, if you gave back just a little then maybe, you didn’t. Because, like Oprah Winfrey said, “To move forward, you need to give back.”
Giving back is the epitome of positivity for me. What about you?
Have a great day! And give back!
Blog:https://fictivefinesseff.wordpress.com/

If you want to share positivity here at The Positivity Press send in your positive news with pics and the link to your blog (if you want) to postpositivity@gmail.com

Positivity Press #14

My positive event today is that I finally finished school!  It was a very tiring year as we had to study a lot more and had to spend double the efforts we did before. But, at least, I think I did good! I hope you all have a great day!

Blog: https://nour7.home.blog/

If you want to share positivity here at The Positivity Press send in your positive news with pics and the link to your blog (if you want) to postpositivity@gmail.com

Positivity Press #11

Hello everybody!

Let’s talk about baby steps for a minute here. If you look back at things you were excited about but gave up, you can see that in most cases you did it because you failed. I say you did it because you forgot how to celebrate small victories.

I am also to blame for this problem but recently I made a small victory, a baby step let say, towards something I really wanted to do for so long. I don’t want to go into the details about it but let’s just say that I made a baby step. I loved the tickling feeling it gave me. I felt so proud of myself and I haven’t felt that in a while to be honest.

From that experience I realized that I just had to shift my mindset in order to find the strength and resilience to make bigger steps towards my ultimate goal. Baby steps are what create that path to our dreams and goals but we so often forget about them. I ask you kindly to recognize and celebrate your baby steps today, those small victories you do through the day. Celebrate yourself and watch amazing thing happen!

Sending love and positive vibes,

Luna

If you want to share positivity here at The Positivity Press send in your positive news with pics and the link to your blog (if you want) to postpositivity@gmail.com

Positivity Press #10

I am a gardener.
But only metaphorically (I know nothing of the ancient art of tending a garden).
Being a gardener, I always try to cultivate an attitude of optimism.

Most days, negativity can’t even claw her tendrils into me as I’m always on guard.
Like the Night’s Watch, I’m forever on alert for any unhealthy thoughts lurking in my mind.

Yet sometimes; I can’t help but frown when life does manage to coil her weeds of negativity around me.
When she spoils my toil by burying me in a heap of melancholy so deep I can’t tell up from down.

It’s in those moments; when I can’t seem to take it any longer, that I remind myself to cultivate an attitude of positivity by focusing on the things I am grateful for.

The small things really.

Like how grateful I am for the warmth of the sun on a cold day, the cool breeze on a hot day. Or simply a clear blue sky.

When that doesn’t work, probably because I’m so deeply entrenched in my negativity. I am forced to weed the garden of my mind by focusing on my body.

Like how grateful I am for organs, such as my heart for example. That beats non-stop without permission to keep me alive and is responsible for the blood flow in my body.
Can I ever repay it for its hard work?

What of my brain? What would I do without it?
It alone controls everything in my body, from my pH levels, to my internal temperature, my breath as well as many other processes I forgot about since last I had Biology as a subject.

When I do that, my negativity has no choice but to wither away in dismay.
If it doesn’t, I simply cycle through everything I am grateful for(from friends, family, life itself, poets, poems, pens, papers etc) until I begin to feel the negativity ebbing away.

This is my way of maintaining a positive outlook on life. What’s yours?

If you want to share positivity here at The Positivity Press send in your positive news with pics and the link to your blog (if you want) to postpositivity@gmail.com