Accept Wherever You Are Right Now
by Agapi Stassinopoulos
The place where you are right now, God circled on a map for you. —Hafiz
I have been so blessed in my life to have the guidance and unconditional love of my spiritual teacher John-Roger. He helped me during so many difficult moments in my life where I felt stuck and was longing to find my expression in the world, as well as a true connection to myself. He was always there for me, helping me overcome obstacles, encouraging me to keep going at all costs. At some point in my life I found my true expression, the joy of keeping my heart open, the connection to spirit and truly knowing that God is my partner. It took years of inner work, letting go of my self-doubt and really stepping with courage and conviction to express the truth in my heart. As I went around speaking to people about my previous book, Unbinding the Heart, I found that people had the same longings, questions and challenges that I had in my life. I felt a deep calling and a responsibility to share what I had learned, and overcome. I wrote this book, Wake Up to the Joy of You, 52 Meditations and Practices for a Calmer, Happier Life to share my experiences, and the wisdoms I gained from all the years being around the mastery of John-Roger. And it is with the deepest gratitude that I dedicated the book to him for helping me awake to the Joy and Grace within. Excerpted from her new book, Wake Up to the Joy of You 52 Meditations and Practices for a Calmer, Happier Life.
So often we judge where we are as wrong. This judgement distracts us from getting where we’re meant to go. Take a look at your life and ask, “What am I judging about my life?” Maybe you’re single and searching but you feel a sense of incompleteness because you don’t yet have the right partner. Maybe you’re discontented with your work and you need to find something that calls to you. Maybe you have a creative idea for a startup or a book, but you feel overwhelmed by all the steps you need to take to achieve your goal. What if you stop resisting and accept where you are, and are honest with yourself so you can see the path intended for you?
This week, start by focusing on accepting exactly where you are and everything you feel about it. If you are tired and frustrated, be tired and frustrated. This is not a permanent state of being, just something you’re moving through. If your children are driving you mad, and your husband is checked out, accept it and don’t be bitter. If everyone around you is moving forward in their careers, accept it and know you’re on your path. If your mother is driving you crazy, accept it and realize you can’t control her. If the love of your life came and left, perhaps faster than you wanted, accept it and be grateful for this love. With this mind-set of acceptance, the grip of trying to control our lives releases. The people around us are not going to be the way we want them to be. They have their own codes of being, and when we accept them, with their differences, we will be at peace.
A friend of mine married a man who I thought was so wrong for her. It was very challenging to see her with him because I thought he should treat her differently. It took surrendering my judgements and opinions to accept that it was her choice and he was who he was. I said to myself, “Thank God, I didn’t marry him!” I allowed my friend to go through her experience. In her own time, she left him, and our friendship survived because I had accepted that this was her journey.
As my spiritual teacher, John-Roger, so wisely pointed out: “Acceptance is not a passive state. Far from it. Acceptance is active because it requires you to be highly attentive. Acceptance has infinite subtleties and shadings. When you truly walk through the door of acceptance, you will experience joy and peace. You will be in the now. You will find yourself in your loving.”
If you want to live in a different place, if you want a different job, a better relationship, a healthier lifestyle, a fit body, more friends, more fun and understanding and communication in your relationships just start with what you have and accept it. Unconditional acceptance is the key to freedom. It is achieving a state of acceptance that give you permission to be exactly where you are and go where you want to go.
Self-acceptance releases the pressure you put on yourself to be perfect. Accepting the circumstances of your life, accepting your so-called weaknesses, insecurities, your state of being just the way you are give you breathing space. In this breathing space there is tremendous room for transformation and grace. In the gift of acceptance, you will see that the spirit resides where you are now, in everything, as is, and brings everything to perfect balance.
SUGGESTIONS FOR THIS WEEK
Throughout the next week, allow everything in your life to be the way it is. Accept it, not resisting, not trying to “fix” it. Instead of contracting, take moments throughout your day where you consciously exhale. Keep a journal by your bedside and every night before you go to sleep record observations that have shown up during the day. How did you feel? Did you notice any shifts, sense of relief or lack of tension?
As you look at yourself and your life and see things that you wish were different, observe the “shoulds” and judgements you might have made about your life. Find a place of forgiveness to let go of the judgements. Focus on the gifts you’ve been given. Make a list of them as if they are materials that have been given to you, and you are an artist starting work on a clean canvas. Know that like an artist, you have the ability to mix, blend and erase.
In learning to fully accept everything about ourselves and our lives, we become like a gracious hostess who has room for everybody at her home but discerns who she will and won’t invite again. In the simple act of accepting what is, we are free to choose where we are going to next, what the next step is, and where we are going to place our focus. Keep your heart open to yourself no matter what. That’s the ultimate key to transforming the conditions of your life. During your day, repeat this positive statement: “I unconditionally accept and embrace all the parts of myself and conditions of my life.”
Excerpted from WAKE UP TO THE JOY OF YOU: 52 MEDITATIONS AND PRACTICES FOR A CALMER, HAPPIER LIFE Copyright © 2016 by Agapi Stassinopoulos. Published by Harmony Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.