How do you respond to rain? The Power of Acceptance
It rains a lot in Manchester, where I live.
There are two choices about how to respond and react when it is raining:
Option 1 would be the following thoughts: “I don’t like rain. I wish it was not raining and then my day would be better! My day is now ruined. It is so horrible this long dark winter. Why am I living here? I can’t exercise because its such bad weather. When will spring arrive? My mood can’t improve until then.
Option 2: “Yup, it’s raining”.
Which option do you think will help your feelings?
Option 1 is likely to lead to many more unhelpful negative thoughts that are likely to hang around for longer, perhaps leading to feelings like frustration, lowered mood, sadness and maybe anger.
Option 2 is likely to enable the unpleasant thoughts to go much quicker, with the result that mood is not lowered and feelings are more pleasant.
Option 2 is about cultivating the state of acceptance in life. I may not like the situation but I accept it as it is. What we resist, persists. Like being in quick sand, it is best to try not struggle too much otherwise you sink further and quicker. Initially bringing space, presence, stillness in the way of acceptance allows better choices.
Accepting the rain initially (even if its not the ideal situation) makes it possible to then have helpful thoughts such as, ‘I am so fortunate to live in a country with an abundance of life-giving waters. Many countries don’t have enough clean, running water available so I am going to use this moment as an opportunity to appreciate the abundance in my life, appreciating this wonderful moment’.
- Perhaps try embracing thoughts and feelings rather than fighting or feeling guilty about them.
- Allow both pleasant and unpleasant experiences to exist, without trying to deny or change them.
- Practice being aware of the present moment, without judging the experience as good or bad…it just is as it is. In other words, it involves experiencing what is happening without trying to predict or change the experience.
In this short email, you will notice above that my new logo above emphasises the ‘emotional’ part of whole-person living. Perhaps bringing more moments of acceptance may help enhance the emotional dimension of life.
“Accept – then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.” Eckhart Tolle