Living Unbound: Accepting Reality

As talked about in the teachings we saw how we need to look for happiness within us. All our lives we look outward for happiness. If that really did make us happy, we should have been the happiest people alive, after manipulating ourselves and the world around us we should have it all down to a fine art to finding happiness. And yet, happiness is always just beyond us. Even when we do catch up with it, it slips away real soon.

So is “happily ever after” possible?

Yes. It is possible to be happy exactly where you are.


Shift the way you think. Instead of “what can the world do to make me happy?” or “how I can change myself to gain the love of the world?“, look into “how can I accept the world as it is, and myself as I am?”

In all of the example statements we talked about in Living Unbound: Dissolving Emotional Reactions In Reality and Living Unbound: Identifying Mind Stories, there was one part called “reality” … which was the actuality of the situation, free from any interpretation about it. Accepting this part, the reality of the situation, will make everything different.

Acceptance doesn’t mean being weak, or allowing others to use us as doormats, or not acting when action is needed. Acceptance means dropping the mind stories that makes us suffer by keeping us mentally and emotionally bound to a situation. Being attached to the mind stories uses up energy needlessly, clouds thinking and drains energy; acceptance helps get past the mind story and address any moment or situation with clarity.

Things happen around us without our help. We may believe we are making things happen, however life just keeps flowing with or without our help.

We believe we actually carve the path of our lives, however, look back and be honest with yourself… how much of our lives has been as we had planned? How much of our sadness is because we are still clinging onto the dreams (“mind stories”) we had of our life, partner, kids, parents, siblings. What happens if we drop the ideas (“mind stories”) we have.  It’s a slight shift in our focus. We put all our attention and energy on our mind stories and see our world from this place. All we need to do is shift our focus away from the mind story and accept the reality.

Let’s look into this:
“I feel sad because I am disappointed that my mother is not around more to help me with my kids.”

  • emotion = sad
  • label = disappointed
  • mind story = mother should help more
  • reality = mother is here once a week/month, never.

So you are sad because you cannot accept the reality of what is going on. Your mother is doing what she is doing. Maybe she does not want to go through bringing up children again. Maybe she feels unloved because she feels you are using her to take care of the kids. Maybe she is old and does not have the energy to take care of the children. Maybe she is afraid she is old and may not be able to keep up with the children. We know how tired we get taking care of the children? Well she maybe double our age… and with half our energy. Or maybe she just does not care.

All the above statements are to help you see what she may be going through. But it does not really matter what she is going through. We can only speculate what someone else is feeling or thinking with our mind stories. The only thing we can be sure about is what is going on. My mother is not involved with my children as often as I would like her to be.

Can you accept this? For even a moment, drop the thought “my mother should help me more” and feel the release and lightness. Try thinking in another way… “I should not expect anything from my mother and accept that she is loving us the best she knows how” or “I should love my mother no matter what she does or does not do”. Or “I should love myself and drop the expectation, because it is hurting me to keep the expectations in place”.

When you can identify the mind story and let it go and accept the reality that is beyond the mind story, you will feel an instant release in tension in yourself. We will see how we cling onto these mind stories and keep our suffering in place.

Another wonderful thing that we will start to experience is when the mind stories are not controlling our every move, a kind of freedom comes into our lives and we can just flow with what is happening. Once this happens… once we have loosened the grip our mind stories have on us… everything starts to unfold in perfect harmony. It has always been unfolding in perfect harmony, we have been so caught up in our mind stories that we haven’t noticed.

Another example of accepting reality:

>”Our children should respect us.”

Again, look at the reality of how our children are treating us. Maybe because they are teenagers, and have not yet found their place in life, they are at an awkward age and unclear on how to relate to almost everyone, including their parents. They are no longer children and they are not yet adults. They are confused. Or maybe they never did learn to respect, because we as parents never showed them any respect. Accepting children as they are and showing them unconditional loving will help them get over the confusing phase that can go with certain parts of their teenage years, and respect us even more than they otherwise would, once they are out of this phase.
However, our mind stories have defined what the behavior of children should be like… and we are sad and disappointed and angry because they don’t fit into that mind story. Accepting what is … accepting reality … will help us drop the mind story, and will help us operate from a place of clarity. From this place of clarity we can take further steps of talking to our children, showing them unconditional loving, and offering loving guidance. When we talk to them with our mind story of “expected behavior” in place, we are not listening to what they are saying nor are we working with the reality of the situation. However, when we drop the mind story of “acceptable behaviors”, we actually have a wonderful chance of getting closer to our children. Even the most rebellious kids just want to feel that someone is on their side, no matter what. If that “someone” is us, and they know it, they won’t shut us out, and we’ll be able to offer them input and guidance.
>”My partner should not leave me.”

Look at what the reality is. Our partner has decided to move on. Look at all the stories that are holding us back and keeping us sad. Life is moving on but we are caught up in a mind story of what a relationship should be, and we beat ourselves up when things don’t go as per the mind stories we made up on how life should be. We have our definition of unconditional loving, and all of that revolves around how our mind stories define loving. If we let go the mind story of how our partner should treat us, and accept what is going on… we can be free this minute.
If we still want to try and make things work out in our relationship, we can then, from a place of acceptance, go forward with therapy or counseling. If it does not work out, or if our partner is not willing to try along with us, it is best to accept and move on, rather than cling onto a mind story that we created based on memory and imagination, and which only causes suffering in the present.
>”Our children should take care of us when we get old”,

> “Our children should give us more time/visit us more often.”

What’s the reality? Our children are not taking care of us. Can we change this? Our mind stories have defined what our old age should look like. But even after spending all our lives seeing how things never go according to the plans of the mind stories, we are still disappointed because our life this moment is not the way our mind story defined it should be.
When will this stop? When will we actually be happy? As a child we look forward to being out of school, working, having our own money. Then we say we will be happy when we have a partner, then kids, then kids settle down, then grand kids, then… we finally rest when we are in our grave. If we can accept reality this moment, if we can let go the hold on the mind stories and accept reality right now… we can be completely fulfilled right here, right now… not somewhere “out there” in the future.