Tuesday, July 14, 2009


My colleague Paul’s recent little speech to me about accepting my anger took me by surprise. I had told him how I had gone into the meeting determined to remain calm, determined to hold in those horses by the scruff of their manes. And the rolling chariot of anger had not only rolled but had become a rolling god-darn freight train of anger. I sat in his office with what must have been the guilty shaggy dog look. Paul is one of the few people who know me and who know I write this blog. So my inevitable lack of philosophical discipline is the subject of running jokes between us. Then I got the speech and I must say I felt a weight drop off my shoulders.
This is the power of philosophy. A different way of looking at something changes it.
What was the weight that dropped off my shoulders? That is what I have been trying to figure out. I think it had something to do with stopping beating myself up for being… myself.

‘The world is made up of all kinds of people. Some get angry, some keep their calm. Both have their uses. Both are always evolving. Your dissatisfaction with your angry reaction is noted and will be integrated into the next experience. Now move along, nothing to see here.’ Such was the feeling of the weight dropping off my shoulders.

Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune. William James

The first step toward change is acceptance. Once you accept yourself, you open the door to change. That's all you have to do. Change is not something you do, it's something you allow. Will Garcia

Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery. Joanne Kathleen Rowling

We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses. C. G. Jung

The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance. Nathaniel Branden

Acceptance does not necessarily mean ‘liking,’ ‘enjoying,’ or ‘condoning.’ I can accept what is – and be determined to evolve from there. It is not acceptance but denial that leaves me stuck. Nathaniel Branden

Acceptance is not submission; it is acknowledgement of the facts of a situation. Then deciding what you're going to do about it. Kathleen Casey Theisen

Acceptance of one's life has nothing to do with resignation; it does not mean running away from the struggle. On the contrary, it means accepting it as it comes, with all the handicaps of heredity, of suffering, of psychological complexes and injustices. Paul Tournier

Accept everything about yourself – I mean everything, you are you and that is the beginning and the end – no apologies, no regrets. Clark Moustakas

The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely. C. G. Jung

Acceptance makes any event put on a new face. Henry S. Haskins

One completely overcomes only what one assimilates. André Gide

Some people confuse acceptance with apathy, but there's all the difference in the world. Apathy fails to distinguish between what can and what cannot be helped; acceptance makes that distinction. Apathy paralyzes the will-to-action; acceptance frees it by relieving it of impossible burdens. Arthur Gordon

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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