Resistance and Acceptance

Once upon a time, I bought an item online and then changed my mind about the purchase and canceled my order after it had shipped. The seller charged my credit card and when I called, said I’d have to pay return shipping plus a restocking fee. That’s when the battle began.

Both of us resisted the position of the other. We both felt we had sufficient evidence to support our positions – it had moved from transaction to principle. We were both right.

It appeared we were headed to court. I lined up my documents and so did they. Each time I’d call, the tone of our conversations devolved. It was an unpleasant encounter each time.

Finally, the product arrived. I’d invested quite a bit in it, paid what felt to me to be quite a bit for shipping, and now I was faced with shipping it back at my expense. I was faced with taking a loss on this and I don’t like to lose! Not happy about it at all!

A Miracle – Choice!

Then, a miracle occurred. Over breakfast, Carol sweetly reminded me that my resistance to this whole thing was at the root of it all. She asked me, “What would happen if you stopped fighting and started accepting?”

That had not once occurred to me. Funny how you can write about love and light and neglect it so obviously. What would happen, I wondered, too?

We discussed it through the day. I meditated about it. Then, I slept on it. During the night, I dreamed about it – just who is in charge of living my life?

The next day, I boxed up the item and shipped it back at my expense. I smiled at and thanked the FEDEX employee who handled it. I accepted the credit card charge. As gratitude returned to my heart, I could feel my blood warming as I accepted what I’d created.

I didn’t “give up” or “surrender” or “accept my fate” – rather, I’d felt the love of Self my resistance had pushed away from my awareness. I had accepted accountability for my creation.

At this point, some might expect me to write that the merchant relented – that my “revelation” had changed the situation for them as well. Yet, that would spoil my story with a Disney-esque outcome based on a false equation – that magic controls the universe.

As it turned out, I paid shipping in both directions, the merchant received their product, and refunded the purchase price minus a stocking fee – exactly as they’d repeatedly told me they were going to do. They had kept their word. Resistance or acceptance on my part did not figure into that formula.

What did figure in was my attitude. For a week, I was unconsciously “pissy” and “moody.” I’d allowed my “bad” transaction with the merchant to cloud my sense of gratitude for the world around me. Looking back, I realize how the transaction portrayed and exposed my judgment of diminished personal Self-worth. When I placed the original order with the merchant, I was pissed at myself and hadn’t yet acknowledged and accepted it. I’d transferred my attitude into the transaction that reflected it.

Remember, soon after I placed the order, I was invested and faced with taking a loss – I don’t like to lose. That is SO First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble awareness thinking! Thankfully, Carol reminded me of a Third Degree of Illumination choice I’d forgotten.

Onward to Acceptance and Gratitude

When the conscious acceptance came, so did the warm sunshine of gratitude return. Nothing had changed about the transaction – except my acceptance of me – and that made all the difference. I now honor the merchant for keeping their word. I’ll likely buy from them again as they were prompt and honorable. Why? Because that’s who I am.

Resistance transformed into acceptance. I had felt the transition from Second Degree of Illumination resistance to change – defensiveness – to a Third Degree of Illumination choice – to Fourth Degree of Illumination acceptance.

Gratitude.

Following the Resistance

Inside the First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble awareness, I resist change. That resistance can feel exhausting. With unconscious practice and acceptance of it, fighting against change becomes a necessary truth to defend. In this way, change as the enemy becomes my ultimate truth.

I’ve been told change is inevitable – I feel the need to prove that wrong. Thus my bubble motto: “I must resist change in order to exist as I am.” My first thought is to resist and see how that goes later on. Yet, later on, I find that allowing for change once in a while can be okay. Some changes can seem like the enemy when my way is sufficiently out of harmony with those changes. There have been many changes I have fought against and later accepted. If later I can accept those things I once resisted, can I accept other changes right away? Could it be as simple as putting a hold on my resistance, even if temporarily?

How Do My False Equations Affect My Resistance?

If what I project is what I want to experience, then underlying my want is a fear of change. Could I just perceive I no longer fear change? Unlikely! Because it is sufficiently out of harmony with my motto.

I want what I perceive I do not have. I feel incomplete and stand in need, which sets me up to fear that I must change to feel whole. It’s a paradox!

That experience of filling a need happens within me before I project it outward. I feel the effect of that projection as fear, which I should and must embrace. The fear of what I’m projecting brings on a fear of change. In this way I can create and predict how I will feel based on an assumption of who I am and how to fix who I am through my expectation.

I interpret change as dangerous. Why? – Because it means I must change – refer to my motto above! The process of manipulating my life story information is risky business. My story is only as useful as the meaning I assigned to it when I lacked understanding – which was and still is based on assumption and expectation.

My story represents my cohesive misunderstanding of the causes and effects of my misinterpreted experiences. These evoke thoughts and emotions I’ve attached to those experiences which play a pivotal role in my story. Pivotal because I think and feel more positive or negative about life as I choose to interpret it.

I do this by attaching a misattributed cause to a misattributed effect in order to make my cohesive story into a false equation. For example, “By not calling me back (cause), you have hurt my feelings (effect).” – which is an assumption based on my need to prove the rightness of my motto. This is the same formula used in, “By doing that (cause), you have proven to me that you don’t care about me (effect).” – which I use to confirm my expectation based on the same need.

Assumption = Expectation

These false equations are recipes on how to cook up a perceptual disaster from ingredients that include copious portions of assumption mixed anxiously together with an immeasurable quantity of expectation!

Yummy! Following the resistance, let’s enjoy a feast on false formulas!

Ignorance to Insight to Acceptance of Accountability

What do I notice about myself?
My level of acceptance of accountability for my life rises as I replace ignorance with insight.

How do ignorance and insight affect my acceptance of accountability?
Within my First-Second Degree of Illumination awareness bubble, I lack sufficient information to conclusively answer a question. This makes me prone to error. A closed mind settles on and defends one answer and excludes alternatives. It knows the truth!

An open mind seeks alternatives to answers presented in this state of ignorance. It entertains notions. Though somewhat mediating the errors inherent in the condition, an open mind doesn’t solve ignorance.

Accounting for Ignorance and Insight

That’s where insight may serve me. In particular, I speak of the kind of insight that challenges my beliefs – the kind that raises my defensive shields. I mean Third Degree of Illumination insight that takes me to a choice-point. That is –> do I accept accountability or return to the safety of my fortress?

To accept accountability, one must rise above their need to measure all alternatives in light of their ignorance. In a world of illusion, understanding may itself be illusive. Thus, acceptance of accountability may be acceptance of illusion as reality – until insight illuminates the scene.

Why does ignorance and insight affect my acceptance of accountability?
Ignorance and unawareness provide me an experience of separation, competition, judgment, and defense of my sense of rightness. Accuracy be damned!

Insight provides me an opportunity to awaken to something else – beyond my defensive borders.

Who am I as a result of this insight?
As I explore beyond my thought borders, I invite the opportunity for Third Degree of Illumination choice-point, which offers insight into what lies beyond. As a result of this insight, I feel more open to possibilities for exploration.

The progression from ignorance and certitude to insight and awareness to acceptance of accountability outlines the trail of progression from First to Second to Third and then to Fourth Degree of Illumination.

My Emotional Investment in Defense

What have I noticed that I do?
I express the value I’ve attached to my thoughts in my emotional investment in their defense.

How do I do that?
Within First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble awareness, every investment in thought and action must be accounted for with defense – to accommodate and sustain my sense of rightness.

Why do I do that?
Within the bubble, defense satisfies my need to feel a certain way about my experience – right, justified, proper! When I’m in the bubble groove, I feel convinced that my experience is real, true, and exactly as I perceive it. Because it is not actually as I perceive it, I engage a mechanism to support my perception as the perception in order to sustain ME as the ultimate authority over all – Mr. Right. This, in turn, sustains the presentation of my beliefs in the thoughts I entertain about the presentation. Circular! Self-sustaining! Self-convincing! Right!

Who do I think I am as a result of doing it?
Within the bubble – I feel, therefore, I am. I get to believe I am who I am by witnessing who I am not. I am not any part of my perception – yet it feels like I am. Investment in emotional defense tends to pull me into a belief that, “I am what  I defend” – I am what I think, do, and feel.

Investment Beyond the Bubble

Beyond the bubble, defense is irrelevant. Values once used for emotional investment in defense are released from compulsory military service to explore whatever is beyond.

What if I am much more than my ideal bubble image I defend? How much more? What is beyond measure? What is beyond bubble awareness?

As Jelaluddin Rumi so eloquently put it:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn’t make any sense.

(Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks)

The Relationship Between Ownership, Value, and Service

In First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble awareness, I perceive ownership as authority backed by power to act upon what can be acted upon according to its value for service in fulfilling the owner’s intended need or want.

A perception of need for wholeness arises when we imagine dividing ONE into separate parts – the Humpty Dumpty metaphor. This effect of imagination presents a picture of who we are not – divided and dependent upon other parts to make us whole. A constant perceptual conflict appears between a reality we deny and an illusion we believe is real.

In my bubble awareness, imagined separate “me” needs to continually validate its value to the whole. It does this by comparison to that imagined in things it can control through ownership. This process serves the cause to return to wholeness by feeling more whole.

The Relationship between Need and a Thing’s Value

The measure of a thing’s value is in its ability to satisfy the requirement of the need it serves.

Within the bubble, ownership is measured in terms of value and investment. One invests, for example, a certain amount of what represents their personal value, such as money, in order to gain ownership of some property in the hope of a return on investment (ROI) in their favor.

Values are integral to service. I value my bed, for example, because it serves my daily requirement for sleep by giving me a comfortable place to serve that need. How much I value my bed depends on how much I value my need for a comfortable place to sleep.

The Relationship between Ownership and Service

In bubble awareness, I perceive everything as separate – acting and acted upon according to its value toward service of my needs. I assign value to things based on my level of need for a specific service. Through my sense of ownership, I perceive a validation of my value in an owned thing’s level of service to my needs.

In interpersonal relationships, I use this perception of power and authority in ownership to an advantage over others. “Because I control you, I’m more valuable than you, which validates my level of value.”

The Relationship between Ownership, Service, and Value

Fundamentally, I must survive. Therefore, I have needs. I own, value, serve, and receive service in order to:

  • Satisfy needs
  • Validate my separateness
  • Address fears
  • Seek oneness
  • Defend my investments
  • Feel whole!