Your State of Acceptance
by Michael McGinnis
Last week was a tough one for me. I was involved in a disagreement with other people. Sometimes I found myself on the receiving end of a lot of bitterness, anger and frustration. I remember being in a meeting and feeling virtually drained of energy — an ongoing effect of great disappointment and discouragement that someone had communicated to me the day before. I had the feeling of going around in endless circles of talk, without accomplishing anything. During this time I watched and listened, but I did not argue and said little.
After dealing with the difficult issue, the meeting moved on to other topics. My spirits rose quickly and my good humour was restored. That evening I recalled a teaching that I had learned on my spiritual path, Eckankar — that your state of consciousness is your state of acceptance. Your state of acceptance means your ability to accept many things in your life without feeling victimised, because you can find the lessons in the situation that life has prepared for you. Your awareness of those spiritual benefits is your state of consciousness.
OK, I was faced with a tough situation, but I still had choices. I could focus on the discouragement and frustration that other people were feeling, or — if my state of acceptance was high — I could look at the problem and find something good in it for me.
How could I find some positive aspects to a situation that many people were becoming sick of? I decided to sit down and make a list of what I was gaining from dealing with the problem. Any kind of activity that you do to open up your consciousness is a spiritual exercise. I named this one "what I learned from ..." when I saved it on my computer.
For one thing, I was working more with a person that I had not known very well and was impressed with his insight, balance and persistence. I feel that when I meet people with positive qualities, I may gain in some of those qualities as well.
I was also impressed with how much everyone involved in the situation cared about the outcome. There was a variety of opinions, but it was very uplifting to see that concern.
One way concern was shown was in the details of the issue. The more I looked into the details, the more I realized that people were doing their best to be fair.
Another benefit from this difficult issue was that it encouraged people to pay attention and become focussed and not let things slide by them.
I also found that good, clear communication helps to move things forward.
So, rather than being simply a mess of trouble, the situation has highlighted some positive things for me. Perhaps that will help me understand how I can best help the situation to develop for the benefit of all.
Focussing on the learning experiences in a tough situation is something that anyone can choose to do. It is always your choice about whether you will respond to a situation with fear and anger, or look for the positive aspects which can always be found, even if you don't agree with what is happening. You too can choose not to be a victim, but find the silver lining in the dark clouds we all run into in life.