Saturday, July 25, 2009

Acceptance - the opposite of childish resistance

I came across this quote the other day, which reminds me of my grandmother’s saying ‘What cannot be cured, must be endured’ but rephrased in a more positive way:

What cannot be avoided, t'were childish weakness to lament or fear. Shakespeare/De Vere

Here we have acceptance in a nutshell: to be a man is to face the inevitable bravely without complaining that it should be otherwise. Shake-speare always has the knack of putting his finger on the crux of the matter, doesn’t he?
When we don’t face up to what can’t be avoided, we are in resistance mode. We are wasting energy bewailing our fate. We are hanging on to an idea of reality that doesn’t exist any more, if it ever did. We are not adapting to the situation at hand and we are not considering what the situation at hand demands of us. We are being childish instead of being men, or women. The feeling of a weight falling off your shoulders when you accept something is nothing more than the relaxing, the abandoning, of this effort of false resistance.
We saw the value of seeing clearly in Decrease and other posts about sincerity:

Decrease does not under all circumstances mean something bad. Increase and decrease come in their own time. What matters here is to understand the time and not to try to cover up poverty with empty pretence. If a time of scanty resources brings out an inner truth, one must not feel ashamed of simplicity. For simplicity is then the very thing needed to provide inner strength for further undertakings. I Ching

We tried complicated. We thought we had complicated covered. We were wrong. We got hurt. Now we have to face simple, even though we don’t want to. But the funny thing is that simple is what we need. Simple was staring us in the face all along but we didn’t want to see it. Now we have no choice but to face it - but its OK. Simple is how we move on from here. So let’s get over it. Let’s embrace it. Let’s accept it.

The survival of the fittest is the ageless law of nature, but the fittest are rarely the strong. The fittest are those endowed with the qualifications for adaptation, the ability to accept the inevitable and conform to the unavoidable, to harmonize with existing or changing conditions. Dave E. Smalley

A man shares his days with hunger, thirst, and cold, with the good times and the bad, and the first part of being a man is to understand that. Louis L’Amour

Attitude is your acceptance of the natural laws, or your rejection of the natural laws. Stuart Chase

A flower falls even though we love it. A weed grows even though we don't love it. Dogen

Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed. Francis Bacon

Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature's inexorable imperative. H. G. Wells

All that is necessary is to accept the impossible, do without the indispensable, and bear the intolerable. Kathleen Norris

The quickest way to change your attitude toward pain is to accept the fact that everything that happens to us has been designed for our spiritual growth. M. Scott Peck

Almost any event will put on a new face when received with cheerful acceptance. Henry S. Haskins

Everything in life that we really accept undergoes a change. So suffering must become love. That is the mystery. Katherine Mansfield

Anything in life that we don't accept will simply make trouble for us until we make peace with it. Shakti Gawain

The resistance to the unpleasant situation is the root of suffering. Ram Dass

The chief pang of most trials is not so much the actual suffering itself as our own spirit of resistance to it. Jean Nicolas Grou

To oppose something is to maintain it. Ursula K. LeGuin

If you can't fight, and you can't flee, flow. Robert Eliot

Often the prudent, far from making their destinies, succumb to them. Voltaire

The mind which renounces, once and forever, a futile hope, has its compensations in ever-growing calm. George R. Gissing

Peace of mind is that mental condition in which you have accepted the worst. Lin Yutang

Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content. Helen Keller

Don't be sad, don't be angry, if life deceives you! Submit to your grief; your time for joy will come, believe me. Aleksandr Pushkin

The greatest evil which fortune can inflict on men is to endow them with small talents and great ambitions. Vauvenargues

The English know how to make the best of things. Their so-called muddling through is simply skill at dealing with the inevitable. Winston Churchill

Things past redress are now with me past care. Shakespeare/De Vere

I not only bow to the inevitable, I am fortified by it. Thornton Wilder

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Discover The Tale of Genji, the 11th Century classic of Japan (click image)

Discover The Tale of Genji, the 11th Century classic of Japan (click image)
Kiyomizudera Temple has a large veranda looking out over Kyoto and beyond