Acceptance of Reality
Accepting our daily experiences and being vulnerable to opening up about the more painful events that have happened to us in our lives are key in accepting our reality. Resisting our reality only intensifies our suffering and allows the suffering to persist. Let’s look at this example: You are sitting in a lecture hall at school as the professor is speaking on a topic that you find very boring. Your mind starts wandering to all the things you could be doing and how much you still have to accomplish. What if instead of telling yourself, “Wow, I have so much to do and this lecture is a waste of my time”, you say to yourself, “I am one with what is. There is nothing I can do. This is something I get to experience. It is my experience. Remember to breathe in deeply and exhale deeply.” Do you notice how different the latter response feels in comparison to the resistance reaction to the current experience? What did you experience from responding through an acceptance of your reality instead of a resistance to your reality?
Taking a Nonjudgmental Approach to Life
Taking a nonjudgmental approach to life is a practice in which we lessen our impulsive reactions to judgements (whether these lie in our thoughts, feelings, and/or behaviors). The first step in lessening our judgments is to be aware of when we are judging ourselves, others, circumstances, events, organizations, and more. Notice when you judge things as good or bad. Our emotional pain is often amplified by negative judgments. When you notice you are stuck, trapped, angry, irritated or frustrated, also notice what judgment you are attaching with these experiences. After this awareness, the next step is to replace these judgments with a fact about the situation and the feelings you’re experiencing in that moment. Let’s look at this example, instead of saying, “My teacher is a mean, angry, inconsiderate jerk”, you say, “My teacher is angry this afternoon, and I am frustrated and hurt because he lashes out his anger towards me.” Note that lessening our judgment does not rid us of our pain, however, lessening our judgment reduces emotions like anger. Through reducing these emotions we are able to think more clearly and creatively in order to respond in healthier ways to the challenging situations we face. Lessening our judgments and reducing these emotions also empowers us to be decisive in choosing actions that serve and support us.