Acceptance and Non-Attachment

Updated: Jul 14, 2021

Acceptance and non-attachment are two of the most important attributes to develop in living Oneness. Although at first it may seem like these are opposites that contradict each other, they actually work well together, each adding to the other.

Acceptance is letting go of the struggle mentality around something. With struggle, you exert a lot of effort that can be better put to use. When you struggle, you are so busy fighting and pushing away, you are unable to see the problem for what it is and find the solution. When you push something away, you deny its existence and therefore cannot address it because you cannot address what you do not experience.

Many people think acceptance means giving up; being passive. That is not acceptance. Acceptance is mental and emotional flexibility. It is a form of mental and emotional martial art, like aikido. Aikido teaches how to work with the “energies” of push and pull. It teaches that when someone pulls you towards them, instead of resisting and trying to pull away, if you move in their direction, working with the momentum they have provided, they have no power over you. Acceptance likewise involves going with the flow, using the energies present in a situation, regardless of how adverse it may seem, as a partner in your process. Acceptance means rolling with the changes. Nowhere does aikido say that it is about allowing yourself to be harmed. And although aikido is referred to as self defense, it is also common sense.

Non-attachment is about un-attaching from the details of the smaller picture of individual fears and limiting beliefs in order to know the larger picture, the holistic context in which the individual situations exist. When you are attached to (invested in) fear and limiting beliefs, you manifest in accordance with that and the result is more fear and limitation. When you realize the fear and limiting beliefs for what they are, you can disengage from them and engage something more fulfilling.

There are several common misconceptions about non-attachment. One common misconception is confusing non-attachment with detachment. Detachment is disconnecting from yourself, others and the world around you. Non-attachment is a deep engagement with and trust in the larger picture of life that allows the person to not need the details of life to be a specific way. It is way of living which allows you to experience, appreciate, enjoy and nurture the spiritual in the material. Living in non-attachment is a form of mental and emotional flexibility and is very different from detachment which is like rigidly shutting down. To live in non-attachment is to realize that every emotion, thought and response to life has the same unconditional love as its core essence.

Another common misconception about non-attachment is that it means not caring. Friendships and other relationships are formed based on common desires, compatible beliefs, shared emotions and similar responses to everyday experiences and global events. Underlying the shared beliefs, emotions and responses is often a shared sense of lack, limitation fear and anger. When you move beyond the lack, limitation, fear and anger, you still care, but you have different responses to other people, world events and your own experiences. Acceptance and non-attachment enable you to experience the perfection; the wholeness in every moment.

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