Practicing Acceptance (sequel to The Problem of Envy)

I solved the problem of envy by accepting the fact that I am a jealous person.

That sounds paradoxical.  But like it or not, if we walk in the light, then we will cast a shadow.  The only way to get rid of your shadow is to walk in darkness.

The women who led the Spiral Dynamics workshop subsequently led multi-week sessions on Integral Life Practice.  In one of these sessions we were told to pair off. Each person was to give her partner a word to meditate on.  My partner gave me the word ACCEPTANCE.

That was huge.  For some reason I had trouble just speaking the word.  But I knew immediately it was the right word.

Its meditation was transformative.  I stopped hating myself.  I stopped wanting to change my wife and children.  I stopped projecting my image of perfection onto the people around me.  I stopped being Agent Smith, and just let myself be who I am, shadow and all.

Now when I feel jealous or inadequate, I recognize that’s just my soul casting its shadow.  I don’t try to deny it, or eliminate it.  I just accept it and move on.

That is what acceptance allows me to do: move on.  It is so simple, and so powerful.

I believe that is what the Apostle Paul is trying to tell us in his letters: that we are accepted and complete in Jesus.  There is nothing we can do to make ourselves that way.  We are made that way through the Christ.

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