I have been practicing with accepting things as they arise. I have noticed that historically the habit has been to try to change the situation when frustration, anger, disappointment, sadness, or fear arise. I have also noticed that the underlying belief which has lead me to reject these things is that they are proof that I am doing things wrong, I have made the wrong choices, I am not practicing hard enough or correctly, or I just haven’t found out the solution to the riddle of life, and once I really become proficient in living then all these “negative emotions” will just go away.
I have seen that the rejection of these emotions also (not surprisingly) comes up when I interact with other people. If other people are experiencing these emotions then that is proof that they aren’t trying hard enough or they did something wrong to bring this on themselves, etc.
One of the most powerful ways I have found to open myself to accepting these “negative emotions” is to remind myself that I have the extraordinary privilege of having this incarnation as a human being, and these emotions are part of the human experience. Being frustrated (or angry or sad or…) is part of the gift of being human. I remind myself that there really is nothing wrong with me and there is no way to do it wrong.
When I move from trying to get rid of these emotions to a place of acceptance, I am left in a place of humility. I no longer need to disown these emotions and vow never to feel them again as they are no longer proof that I have done something wrong or am a bad person. Instead I can recognize them as part of life and myself as part of life as well.
I feel so grateful that more and more I know that however I am feeling I am in the tender embrace of life, whether I realize it or not. All of it is part of the tapestry of my education. Will I get identified with pushing away these emotions sometimes? Of course, and that’s okay, too. With the practice of acceptance I don’t feel the same pull to run away from where I am. Instead, miraculously, there is increasingly room to rest in all of it.