Image via WikipediaAccepting our present life situation is fundamental. Appreciating it is divine. ~ Allison Blankenship
Action Steps for Transcending Emotional Suffering
A specific action that will help you to be more accepting is to find and dissolve your core beliefs about how people should be. What conceptual idea is in your mind about how the world should be and when should it be that way? These artificial standards in the mind become the basis for judgment and emotional reactions. The second step is to become of aware of the emotions that these beliefs create. Becoming aware of the emotional pain born out of these beliefs will motivate you to suspend your belief in these artificial standards. In this process it may seem sensible to let go of our expectations for ourselves first. This is actually one of the hardest places to start. You may find it more productive if you begin with an inventory of expectations of other people.
This process can be humbling. When I challenged my own beliefs and break the cycle of my emotional reactions I realized how difficult it was to identify and change beliefs. Realizing the challenge helped me be more accepting of other people trapped in their own beliefs. I no longer expected them to change their emotional state simply with my suggestions. I knew that they would have to change their point of view and beliefs before their emotions could change. Sometimes the process can be quick; perhaps a wise teacher can help with a change of perspective. Other times what is called for is being present and unconditionally accepting for life as it is. As my awareness grew I became more accepting of all the different dimensions of life. I also became more humble as I let go of my personal agenda of how the world or people should be.
There is no difference between compassion and forgiveness. Both share an attitude of unconditional acceptance for a situation or person as they are without judgment or expectation of something else. When you forgive people you let go of your attachment to your expectations and wishes for something different. This is the same as actively accepting life as it is. When you forgive people and the world for whatever they will do in the future you will be accepting of them however they are. This act makes it possible to live without judgment and the resulting emotional reactions. In this way compassion for the world is the same as a complete act of forgiveness. This is the pathway to a happy and compassionate life.
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