Practicing compassionate acceptance
is like being in love
and seeing the face of the beloved
in every moment
as if for the first time.
Zen Teacher, Cheri Huber, reminds us that every time we practice compassionate acceptance we open our hearts and fall in love with the person before us. Compassion is not a sacrifice we make for the other, it is a celebration of our interdependence and the love that expands our world.
We often recoil in fear, afraid to reach out, and imagine the “other” may intrude on our space. We forget that compassion does not oblige us, but rather enhances our liveliness and depth of experience.
Compassionate acceptance begins with ourselves. Notice how you may treat yourself as “other”, speaking down to yourself as if you were another person. Collapse the inner divide by taking a breath and letting go of the internal chatter….again and again. This is an act of radical acceptance and love.
In your outer life challenge yourself to engage in the world freshly, even in the smallest of ways. Appreciate your housemate’s contributions to your life, learn about opportunities in your community to contribute to a cause or open a book that enriches your understanding of people who are suffering or in need.
Children naturally open to world with curiosity and caring, accepting sorrow as well as delight. As adults, we need to actively remember that this compassionate acceptance is our fundamental nature and an opportunity to connect deeply in “every moment as if for the first time.”