Acceptance is the answer

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For the most part, I don’t consider myself to be a complainer. I work hard at “accepting what is” and trusting whatever is happening is for my highest good and a lesson I need to learn. Some people see the glass half-full and others see it half-empty. I have always been a half-full girl. How about you?

When Larry and I get up in the morning, we usually ask one another, “How did you sleep?” We both have challenges sleeping and waking up several times a night. It is very frustrating for me to get up 3 or 4 times a night to pee. I usually get back to sleep unless I have something on my mind that I’m concerned about.

In those instances that I can’t get back to sleep, I pray and send love to those in need, and it always helps me get back to sleep. I’m sure it helps the people I am praying for too. I believe in the power of prayer. It is a privilege to pray for others as I know it is the best thing, I can do for those I love.

Instead of complaining when I wake up in the middle of the night (which I have done a lot of) and can’t get back to sleep, I’m practicing GRATITUDE. For example: “Thank you that my body eliminates so well. Thank you that I have legs to walk and eyes to see. Thank you that I have a warm bed to get back into. Thank you that I can take a nap if I’m tired the next day. Thank you that I can breathe and my heart is beating.”

Being grateful, especially when I don’t feel like it is like a magic eraser. It erases the stress, fear and worry and I eventually relax and feel peaceful. It is a “practice” and a shift in focus or perspective, as well as a retraining of the mind.

It’s moving from what’s missing (lack-scarcity) to what I actually have (abundance.) Writing down what I’m grateful for makes it real rather than it floating around in my head. There were times when I felt really fearful about something and I wrote 3 pages of gratitude and it shifted the energy.

Gratitude reduces my fears because it’s hard to be fearful and grateful at the same time, especially when I can’t control other people or things happening in the world. When I’m grateful for everything I have, including my problems, fear has little place to live in my mind. Being grateful puts me into a state of abundance.

Complaining is one of the ego’s favorite strategies for strengthening itself. Eckhart Tolle writes, “Every complaint is a little story the mind makes up that you believe, whether you complain aloud or only in your head. When you are in the grip of ego, complaining especially about other people is habitual and unconscious. You don’t know you are doing it.”

Ego loves to complain and feel resentful about situations and other people. What I am really saying is that I am right and the other person or situation is wrong. This makes me feel morally superior. It is the sense of superiority that the ego craves to enhance itself.

Whatever behavior ego manifests, the hidden motivating force is always the same. It is the need to stand out, be special, be in control, need for power, need for perfection, need to be right, need for attention, need to compare, need to take things personally, need for more and the need to feel a sense of separation.

I had a situation this week where my ego really reared its head. I felt misunderstood and reacted defensively. Thankfully, I recognized that it was my ego immediately and was able to come into the present moment.

I know that to become free of the ego is to be aware of it since awareness and ego are incompatible. Only PRESENCE can free me of my ego and I can only be present NOW, not yesterday or tomorrow.

As I become more conscious, I see how I have lived in the egoic consciousness for many years and didn’t know it. No right or wrong, shame or judgement as I wasn’t ready to see what I see until I was ready. How about you? Are you ready to see all the ways ego shows up in your life?   Remember, only awareness and PRESENCE can free you of your ego.  

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Pat Hastings

Author, Inspirational Speaker, Spiritual Coach, Retreat Leader & Radio Talk Show Host

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