A thief decided to steal the golden temple bell. The moment he’d touch the huge gong, the loud sound would alarm the villagers. The way out? Simple- he put cotton in his own ears- now the sound wouldn’t be heard!

This is the classic case of denial- the proverbial ostrich’s head in the sand approach to deal with our problems.

Most people live in denial. A friend –a chain smoker- said giving up smoking wasn’t a big deal for him. He could quit anytime he wanted; yet he didn’t because he didn’t feel like. He is a victim of living in denial.

What is Acceptance?

Acceptance is the act of consenting to receive the present moment; it’s the single most effective step to puncture the mind’s rant. When you accept you are addicted you stand a chance of getting cured; when you deny your weakness for the cigarettes, the mind drags you further down. This doesn’t mean you are happy about the addiction or justify your fetish, it’s just that you accept your vulnerability and seek help.

When self-talk is unhealthy or painful, just pause, and accept that you are in pain. When you are in anxiety about your strained relationship, just accept that you are in fear; ‘I accept I feel insecure and fearful’. The moment we accept our situation, we save ourselves the misery of denial, anger and bargaining.

We seek happiness in a world that guarantees suffering. If we accept the reality of this world that it’s a place of misery, then our expectations would be more realistic. It’s only then that we can seek alternatives. Otherwise we’d keep trying doing the same things and seek pleasures in different ways, and only get frustrated. A quote attributed to Einstein rings true: ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’

To be continued…

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