Should you accept or reject what is unfolding in this moment? From a spiritual perspective, it would seem that’s a no-brainer! You know the possibility of inner peace and happiness rests in the ‘proper’ answer to this recurring human dilemma.
But why is this a dilemma if the answer is so obvious? Because the mind ties both acceptance and rejection to feelings of self-esteem, worth, value, and, most of all, your sense of who you are. And it doesn’t matter whether the acceptance and rejection comes from you toward someone or something; or from someone else toward you.
Consequently, when presented with how to respond, it is not just about letting things be as they are. Many times you have to leap the hurdle of what your answer might mean about you – your sense of self and identity. Whether the assessment is conscious or unconscious, it inevitably occurs.
Whether acceptance arrives as approval, agreement, recognition, tolerance, an acknowledgement, or simply acquiescence, most of us feel it gives us credibility and authority. It makes us feel confident and, at some important level, an embraced member of the tribe.
Rejection also comes in many different costumes. We can feel rebuffed, denounced, dismissed, refuted, refused, or the extreme of eliminated, shunned, banished, or exiled.
Our primitive drive to be part of a community and deemed ‘a member of the tribe’ forces us to move away from rejection with great speed; and to move toward being accepted with even greater intent.
You may fear rejection because you unconsciously believe it places you on the verge of the most heinous form of censure—expulsion from the group—whether that group is two, three, a hundred, thousands, or more. And to be accepted is to feel safe and a part of something larger than yourself. When choosing how to respond to your situation, these powerful pulls have to be managed.
From the mystical perspective, acceptance and rejection can never be a statement about the essence of who you are. The essence of your humanity remains your spark of divinity, regardless of your actions.
Acceptance and rejection are always about behaviors. They are essential tools for creating and sustaining social order and accountability, and thus culture and a ‘civilized’ world.
Because acceptance and rejection are interdependent and actually define each other, you cannot have one without the other. They actually work in partnership. Their goal? To establish and maintain the boundaries of productive human interaction for the purpose of creating together and living together—be it in a village, a city, a country, or on the planet itself.
Once acceptance and rejection are unhooked from the belief that they are statements reflecting your basic ‘goodness’ or ‘badness,’ they simply become feedback as to how aligned, or out of kilter you are with your own accountability, or the goals of the whole.
In the context of social order, we are in fact both independent and dependent. Thus, acceptance and rejection (yours or another’s) are best held as assessments of your own positioning within the movement of the whole. These assessments may be correct or incorrect from your point of view, but they give you the view from another perspective.
- Embrace acceptance and rejection as views on your behavior determined by the needs of the whole.
- Accept that acceptance and rejection are not truths about who you are.
- Understanding this frees you to move in the world without being internally thrown out of alignment with your own spiritual core.
Once we give our sense of self over to rejection or acceptance (our own or others), we have given away the key to loving ourselves as we are – even as we paradoxically follow our inner urge to become more.
I invite you to explore this shift in understanding acceptance and rejection, and discover how it feels to keep that sense of inner peace rooted in knowing who you truly are beyond your behaviors.
Just one more thing. If you haven’t yet watched my free 3-Video Beggar’s Secret Series, click here to subscribe. It’s fun and I think you’ll enjoy.