What is Enlightenment?

Rays of sun through the clouds

“If I could define enlightenment briefly I would say it is the quiet acceptance of what is.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer

As simple as this definition seems to be, how often do you quietly accept what is? Instead, what do you say or do?

  • I say things like “It’s not supposed to be this way.” “It should have been different.” “It should be this other way.”
  • Instead of accepting how people are, I try various ways of trying to control them to get them to change and be the way I want them to be, or the way I think they should be. I explain, defend, complain, argue, blame, get angry, threaten, pout, give myself up, be extra loving and so on, rather than accept how they are.
  • I tell myself lies regarding who someone is choosing to be. I say things like, “Underneath, he has a good heart,” rather than accept that the person is choosing to be abusive, or “I know she loves me,” rather than accept her lack of connection and attraction to me. I act as if my fantasy of someone is the reality, rather than accept the reality.
  • I tell myself it’s my fault when others are unloving, rather than accept their choice to be unloving. I blame and shame myself, rather than accept who someone is choosing to be. I convince myself that if only I do things ‘right,’ or say things ‘right,’ I can get someone to change.

You might want to take a moment to see what else you do instead of accepting what is.

Why is This so Hard?

If you fully accepted the reality of how things are or who a person is, then what? What would you have to face and what actions would you need to take if you fully accepted reality?

This is what makes acceptance so hard. When you accept reality 100%, and you don’t like it, then you have to decide what actions you need to take, and these actions may be challenging. For example:

relationships: If you accept that your partner isn’t going to stop:

  • drinking
  • smoking pot
  • using drugs
  • raging
  • judging, criticizing, blaming
  • complaining, defending, explaining
  • being closed to learning
  • being sexually needy
  • withdrawing, being emotionally unavailable
  • having affairs
  • lying
  • gambling
  • spending beyond your means
  • working all the time
  • being a selfish lover
  • being generally selfish and inconsiderate
  • having a talking addiction
  • other________________

…then what?

What if these behaviors are going to continue no matter how much they hurt you or how angry you get; then what? If you accept that what your partner is doing that is painful to you is more important to him or her than you are, can you accept this, or will you need to leave the relationship? Is it easier to think you can get him or her to stop, rather than accepting your lack of control?

We often kid ourselves into thinking someone is going to change, rather than accept reality, because accepting reality might mean that we have to take an action that is difficult.

Work: If you accept that conditions at your work are not going to change, then what?

Life’s other challenges: If you accept that life is going to keep happening and that some of it is going to be very hard, then what?

When we fully accept what is, then we are free to make loving decisions and take loving action in our own behalf. Accepting what is releases us from trying to control the things we cannot control and opens the door to controlling what we can – ourselves.

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process – featured on Oprah. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Click here for a FREE Inner Bonding Course, and visit our website at www.innerbonding.com for more articles and help. Phone Sessions Available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Dr. Margaret Paul is the author/co-author of numerous best-selling books, including: Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You? Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?…The Workbook Healing Your Aloneness The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook Inner Bonding Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By My Kids? Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? Margaret holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, public speaker, seminar leader, consultant, facilitator, and artist. She has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including the Oprah show. She has successfully worked with thousands of individuals, couples and business relationships and taught classes and seminars for over 42 years. Dr. Paul’s books have been distributed around the world and have been translated into many languages. After practicing traditional psychotherapy for 17 years, Margaret was discouraged by the results – both for her clients and herself. She had spent years trying to heal from her own dysfunctional and abusive background, but found herself still suffering with anxiety and relationship problems. She started to seek a process that works fast, deep, creates permanent change, loving relationships, inner peace, and joy. In 1984, she met and became friends with Dr. Erika Chopich, who had half the Inner Bonding® process, and Margaret had the other half! They have been evolving this incredibly powerful healing process for the last 26 years. Margaret works with individuals and couples throughout the world – on the phone, in workshops and 5-Day Intensives, and with members of Inner Bonding Village at http://www.innerbonding.com. She is able to access spiritual Guidance during her sessions, which enables her to work with people wherever they are in the world. Dr. Margaret has just completed a 12 year project call SelfQuest®, which is a transformational self-healing/conflict resolution software program. SelfQuest® is being donated to prisons and schools and sold to individuals, families, and businesses. You can read about SelfQuest® and see a short video of it at http://selfquest.com. In her spare time, Margaret loves to paint, make pottery, take photos, watch birds, read, ride and play with her horses, and spend time with her children and grandchildren.

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