If you want to be comfortable in your own skin, if you want to be present, if you want to be empowered, if you want to be able to change the world, or even your little corner of the world, acceptance is vital.

Acceptance is not acquiescence. Acceptance, in spiritual terms, does not constitute consent or condonement. Acceptance is merely saying “this is.” Until I accept the way things actually are, right now, I cannot be present. Until I accept that which is, I cannot hope to change it, because I am living in illusion and am trying to change illusion.

While acceptance may involve discernment (“I want this” or “I do not want this”), it does require stepping outside of value judgment (“that is good” or “that is bad”). The minute I place a value judgment on something, I superimpose my ideas (potentially illusion) on what is. Acceptance requires merely acknowledgement of what is.

It looks at verifiable information, without attempting to discern (guess at, make up) motive. It looks at facts, at behaviors, rather than motivation. Acceptance allows for the idea that there may be no excuse for an act, because it does not require excuses, reasons, justifications, or motivation. It is just about the action.

Because of this, acceptance gives us permission to step out of the Laws of Karma and into the Laws of Forgiveness. You can think of karma as a backpack of rocks. Every time something happens, whether you do something or someone or something else does something, and you choose to hold on to it, you pick up a rock and put it in your backpack. Holding on to it means holding judgment (“this is good” or “this is bad”); it means not allowing for the fact that it just is; it means not being present to what is, and therefore not processing it.

Forgiveness also does not imply consent or condonement. It does not make something okay, let alone “right”. It just means that I’m not going to carry it around anymore. It means you don’t get to occupy rent-free space in my head anymore. It means that I’m not going to beat myself up in your behalf or use something you’ve done (or that I think you have done) as an excuse. It means, potentially, that I stop playing the victim.

Forgiveness comes from being able to say “this is.”

When I live under the laws of forgiveness, I free myself up to act. I am no longer wasting energy trying to change or maintain illusion. I am no longer wasting my energy and disempowering myself by beating myself up. I can be present to the verifiable facts, and I can take the necessary actions to affect change, if that is what is called for. I am no longer trying to hold space for what I want to be true, so I can actually create real change. Since I am present, I have the ground under my feet, and I can take steps, be effective, rather than treading water or spinning my wheels.

When I set about acknowledging what is, I look at what I can see, physically feel, taste, smell and hear. I avoid using words like “want” or “need” or “should”. I avoid ascribing motivation to actions, and just look at the actions themselves. If I am acknowledging my own emotions (and I avoid looking at the emotions of others, because that’s not verifiable information), I don’t judge those emotions; I am merely present to them, witnessing them, without pushing them away or trying to hold on to them. I start to be able to focus on the physical sensation of the emotion, rather than in the thoughts and opinions that are attached to that physical sensation. You see, the body feel is a result of a chemical reaction that comes from a stimulus, whether that’s an action or a memory or projection. That chemical reaction is, potentially, verifiable information – it could be measured. It *is*. All those thoughts and opinions aren’t measurable, and therefore aren’t verifiable.

What are the verifiable facts in your life today?

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