Acceptance

A popular saying from the 8th century Buddhist sage Shantideva advises us that if we are confronting an unsatisfactory situation that we can change, there is no need to worry – we should change it. On the other hand, if we are encountering an unsatisfactory situation that we cannot change, there still isn’t a need to worry because there is nothing we can do.

I have often thought that saying makes a lot of sense – and that following it is easier said than done. If we are advanced spiritual masters, it’s probably a piece of cake – but most of us aren’t advanced spiritual masters. Unsatisfactory situations still bother us. Perhaps an intermediate stage in moving toward total equanimity would be to learn to reduce our worrying. Can we learn to be content with doing our best and letting the chips fall where they may? Can we admit that we aren’t in control of how the world operates most of the time? Can we be okay with the truth that we aren’t God, and that even God doesn’t seem to follow our expectations most of the time? To the extent we can, and there certainly is a learning curve involved, we will be much happier!

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