Friday, March 27, 2009

You Are Totally Acceptable

Take a moment to tally the number of people each and everyday that you would estimate, in the pursuit of self-acceptance, visits a therapist.

It would be a daunting task, I’m sure. Scads of healing-seekers flock to psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, counselors, and spiritualists in pursuit of advice and guidance for living a better or fulfilling life. Many make this perpetual trek to convey the woes associated with not meeting acceptability standards; including those set both for their self, and others. They see themselves, or someone else lacking something that, if “fixed,” would lessen the distress and turmoil that they experience.

Taking this idea to a broader scale, imagine how many stories and incidents are being conveyed in person-to-person conversation each day that involve the judgment of someone’s acceptability. To gain an all-encompassing perspective, also include the thoughts that we hold privately about either our personal acceptability or that of someone else. Now sum it up. To the number of minutes that are privately devoted to just thinking about either our own or someone else’s acceptability, add the minutes involved in conversing with others about our own acceptability and that of others, and again to that subtotal add the minutes devoted to listening to others who do the same.

Extend that exercise to include an entire population and the total would be mind-boggling. The daily toxic mental energy devoted either to pursuing one’s self-acceptance or judging the acceptable practices and performances of others is beyond what could be measured. It is way too far-reaching to both fathom and compute. The day is consumed with thoughts and conversation about the idea of acceptability.

Searching for acceptability seems to be a lifelong venture. It can be seen almost everywhere. It is present at work, and home. The pursuit of acceptance is demonstrated in conversation, and game competition. The acceptability of our personality, behavior or performance, or that of someone else, is not left without question for very long before becoming the focus of someone’s thoughts and conversation. Also, the quest for acceptance is more often than not, the seed from which a romantic relationship blossoms. In the pursuit of an enhanced level of acceptability, one romantic partner is targeted by the other as being the source of good feelings, pleasure and happiness.

In the search for acceptability, we can put ourselves in some very tough spots. We learn early in life about what we are lacking and who we should strive to be. Authority figures tell us to behave better or perform better or look better. One’s personal acceptability is discerned by comparing one’s acceptability rating to that of others. We perpetually compare ourselves to others who possess an acceptability rating that may register at a higher or lower setting than our own. This comparison communicates a message about our self-worth. The comparison gives us feedback on how we are evaluated by our self and others, and as a result of that evaluation it informs us as to how we fit into the world. It causes us to form an opinion of our acceptability, which can often put a person in a compromising or tough position because his or her own acceptability is put on the line. It’s up for scrutiny and criticism; which is intimidating, scary and threatening.

We learn from the world that we could be better than we are. The message is virtually everywhere. We see it in advertisements. We are challenged with it in school. We learn it from parents. We are faced with it at work. Continually our acceptability rating is being evaluated as we view others in our peer group, professional group, neighborhood and church group. We compare ourselves to others while in social interactions. We assess the opinions that others hold for us in our family unit and romantic relationship. Continually we check our acceptability meter for an actual rating, and then compare it to the presumed ratings of another. And in doing so, perpetually we are asking ourselves: Am I okay?

If we determine that our comparative rating is registering at a sub-acceptable level, then we must heed the message as a warning and do something to raise it. One way of doing so is by creating the perception that we are something other than what we are perceived to be. So we can either strive to achieve the aspired level of acceptability, or create an illusion that we have reached it. In choosing the later, we misrepresent the personal effort required for meeting the acceptability standard. This choice will cause others to perceive us as someone other than we really are. Rather than being judged as unacceptable, a false self-image is projected to create the opposite perception.

The message that we continually communicate to the self is that we are lacking and must therefore do something other that what we are presently doing, or be someone thing other than who we are presently being. The ability to know our real self eventually becomes inert. The vision of who we really are is blocked by the false, self-created reality. This bogus reality is a distraction that keeps us from recognizing our Divine Reality.

The idea of some person or thing being unacceptable is contrived in the mind of a person who believes he can evaluate something as less than what God created it to be. Nothing or no one is unacceptable. In divine consciousness, lack does not exist. In divine consciousness everyone and everything is one with creation and therefore one with the creator. In Divine Consciousness we are all one, a perfect One.

Everyone and everything is composed of pure divine energy, which is unconditional love. Through unconditional love, God is present in all forms. He is present in a stone as well as a human, a blade of grass and a snail; a tree and a tiger. He is present in all forms because at the very base of all form is divine energy; which is Love.

Our worldly identity is affixed to our acceptability. We define ourselves, in large measure, according to our accomplishments, achievements, successes, importance, significance, capabilities, and performance outcomes. This identity defines who we are and becomes so ingrained in our psyche that it presides as the nucleus of our reality. We can’t see beyond it. It is the eco-sphere in which we conduct our lives.

It creates strife and an insatiable appetite for self-acceptance. It is the battleground on which we prove to our self and others, that we can conquer forces that question or oppose our state of acceptability. It is like a scent we lay down as a demarcation to others that this thing we do that makes us acceptable, is our particular area of competency. It’s our badge of acceptability.

The mind that forms from the craving to be acceptable is called the ego. It perceives the world as a place where, through self-acceptance it must figure out how to fit in. The ego does however recognize the voice within that speaks from beyond its selfish limitations. The ego keeps the mind so distracted with the pursuit of acceptability that the other voice is muffled. The ego is the mind within that distracts us from seeing our perfection. The voice of the ego keeps us so keenly tuned to its messages that the voice of our True Self is muffled.

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