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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Acceptance Is a Seed of Happiness


God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference. 

One of the most essential seeds to plant in any garden of happiness is acceptance.  When we cultivate acceptance, it will begin to strangle the weeds of discontent.  You’ve probably heard the saying, “It is what it is.”  When we can begin to accept that certain things in life are beyond our control, then we can understand the uselessness of complaining about them.  Living with acceptance doesn’t mean that you condone the imperfections of this world, it means that you have chosen to see beyond them in order to allow yourself to enjoy life. 
Acceptance is a fundamental key to happiness. When we admit that sometimes life involves events that we can't control, we plant the seed of acceptance. Realize that accepting something doesn't necessarily mean that you like what happened, it is admitting that "it is what it is" and releasing the thoughts of wishing it had been different. You can never change the past, but you can move forward without fighting it. The first step is to be willing to let it go.

When you allow yourself to get caught up in conversations that are based in negativity, you are filling your mind with seeds of misery. Be aware of focusing too much on what's wrong with the world. When you focus on obstacles and problems you fail to see solutions. Happy people look beyond life's imperfections, not talk about them all day.
Now that you’ve awakened your ability to be present at will and know that you can be happy Now,  your ready to begin planting new seeds of joy.  In lesson previous lessons, you learned that you can control your attention.  You successfully practiced focusing your attention and actively engaging the present moment.  This may seem like a small accomplishment and you are probably wondering how being present will help to transform your life.  It’s simple: The more you practice being present and being aware of your thoughts, the easier it will be to focus your attention.

When you learn to focus your attention at will you’ll be able to steer your trains of thought toward more desirable emotions.  Thus, by directing your attention, you have unlocked the door to happiness.  Happy people have learned to do this, even if they don’t know what they are doing.  Happy people focus on their flower garden;  they pay attention to and nurture the seeds of happiness and do not allow weeds into their garden.

Lesson:
Acceptance is an essential seed of happiness.

Exercise:

Is there something you feel you can not accept? Is it something that you can change? If it is beyond your scope of influence, then it is something that you either must come to accept, or continue letting the thoughts of unacceptance cause you misery.
Become aware of any issues you may have with acceptance. When you find something that is troubling you that you have no control over, plant new seeds of acceptance by repeating:

 “I may not like _______, but since there is nothing I can do about it I choose to let these thoughts go.” 

 The more awareness you bring to this issue, the quicker you will be able to stop riding these disturbing trains of thought. Eventually they will come less and less. Be gentle with yourself as you learn to accept that life won't always be what you think it should be.

Be Happy, my Friends-
Laura barrette Shannon

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