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Acceptance is not passive. It is not cowardly. It is not aggressive. It is not submissive. It is not withdrawing from action. It is not resigning. It is not being a door mat.
Mindfulness practice of acceptance is a courageous act of being with what is inside of us. This is the time to pause (P) rather than react. It is time for us to take a few breaths. (E) We allow ourselves to recognize (R) our thoughts and feelings. It is an inner work. If I feel anger in me, I label the feeling as anger. If I feel anxious, I label the feeling as anxiety. If I feel sad, I label feeling as sadness. If I feel hurt, I label feeling of getting hurt. I do not become that feeling. (NI) I do not become that thought. We also become mindful of our bodily sensations and relax.
Acceptance (A) is the quality of presence. It is accepting nonjudgmentally what is unfolding within us. By processing our inner world of bodily sensations, thoughts and feelings mindfully, we become free from our conditioned and default mode of thinking and behaving. When we practice mindfulness, a shift takes place from focusing on the other’s behaviors to the impact of the other’s behavior on us.
Mindfulness creates an open space within us to empathically understand ourselves and the other person in our relationship. We objectively investigate (I) and inquire for a clear understanding of ourselves and others involved in the transactions. Mindfulness practice is an exercise in cultivating non-resistance. It opens our mind and heart. We invite ourselves to be with ourselves to learn how to make wise choices. (C) We do this inner work compassionately.
It is always a good idea to do interpersonal mindfulness work in our relationship. Aggressing, avoiding and ignoring each other, distancing from each other, giving a silent treatment, blaming oneself or the other or pretending everything is OK is not the wholesome way of resolving problems. We engage (E) ourselves with each other by inviting to do mindfulness practice with each other. We let the other person know what my need, value or desire not fulfilled by the other person, how I felt and request to be mindful of my need, value and desire in future. We invite the other person to do the same.
Such work creates and sustains authentic and compassionate healthy relationships. We learn to accept each other’s differences without crating distances. We learn how to be kind to each other and forgive ourselves and others in our relationship. We build bridges of respectful and loving relationships. We enhance each other. We blossom together.
P stands for Pause E stands for Exhale (Deep breathing) R stands for Recognizing NI stands for Not Identifying A stands for Acknowledging and Accepting I stands for investigating and inquiring C stands for Compassion, Clarity and Choice Making E stands for Engagement