Tuesday, May 14, 2019

acceptance and change

Within the Buddhist perspective, there can be a confusion both internally and externally around the concepts of 'accepting the world' and the healthy desire for change.  This came up a lot when working  from a mindfulness perspective with clients struggling with substance abuse.  How can I accept my cravings and change my relationship with myself and with drugs at the same time?  (It can be said we are all addicted, particularly to our habitual, repetitive, often hovering just below the surface of awareness thought patterns or areas of attachment and identification.)

What does 'accepting' look like in terms of wanting to 'change?'  What does wanting to 'change' look like in terms of 'accepting' my thoughts, emotions, sensations.

Some ideas came to mind this morning.  My thought process was along these lines.  'Accepting' can be seen as 'being with' and 'changing' can be seen as 'acting upon.'  Then I thought further along these lines, seeing how 'accepting' and 'being with' are similar to 'listening' and 'changing' and 'acting up' are similar to 'speaking.'

I know for myself that I am much more prone to speaking than to listening.  I can see around me that people who are truly skilled at listening seem fewer in number than those skilled in speaking.

And the quesion arises in my mind, "How do I really know what I want to say unless I have truly listened?"