Learning to Accept and Embrace Pain

What is the Meaning of “Awareness” and “Acceptance”?

The word Awareness refers to the mental state of being aware of something or someone. A person’s awareness includes both their own thoughts and feelings. When a person accepts something, they are accepting it without judging it. They may not like what they see or hear, but at least they have accepted it as real instead of ignoring it or trying to change it into something else.

In Buddhism, acceptance means to allow things to happen naturally and spontaneously without any effort on our part. To do so is called “accepting.” The Buddha taught that all suffering comes from clinging to the world (citta) and aversion toward life (dukkha).

These two states of mind cause us to react with anger, fear, sadness, grief, sorrow and other negative emotions. If we could just let go of these negative emotions then there would be no more suffering.

The word “acceptance” also refers to the act of letting go of one’s attachment to something. In other words, when we accept something, we give up our desire for it. For example, if I want a new car, I will accept the fact that my current car won’t get me where I need to go in life anymore and that it might even hurt me in some way.

Why Is “Awareness” and “Acceptance” So Important in Buddhism?

Gautama believed that much of humanity’s unhappiness comes from not being aware of everything that happens to us. One of the main causes of this unawareness is ignorance (avidya). The average person lives their life in a fog and never thinks to question why they suffer. They believe that happiness comes from acquiring things, so they work constantly to make money.

In reality, after you pay your bills and expenses, you often don’t even have enough money to do fun things. So you work even harder. This cycle continues until you are so stressed out that all you can think about is getting some rest.

Even then, you don’t have a carefree mind, because of your constant worrying about the future or regretting the past.

We are also unaware of what’s really going on in our lives. We have blind spots that keep us disconnected from the world around us. Most people are completely focused on themselves and their own desires.

As a result, they only pay attention to things that directly impact them. For example, the average person might not care about world hunger or genocide in another country because it doesn’t personally affect them.

This unawareness can also lead to hatred and violence towards those who are different than us. When we are not aware of the feelings of others, it’s easy to see them as “different” or even “evil.” When you think about it, there is no logical reason why one person should harm another.

We are all just trying to get by and survive in this harsh world.

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However, if we take the time to be more aware of what’s going on around us, we can open our hearts and minds to the suffering of others. If we can do that, then we are less likely to act violently. Instead, we will try to find a more peaceful solution to conflict.

How Do I Increase My “Awareness” and “Acceptance”?

There are many ways in which you can increase your awareness and acceptance in your life. First of all, you must not fall into the trap of “running on auto-pilot.” Most people do this without even thinking about it.

For example, you go to work everyday, but do you really think about why you’re there and what you’re doing?

Or maybe you go to school for a profession that you will grow to hate.

How can you accept your situation if you’re not even aware of it? In order to live a happy life, you need to stop and ask yourself some serious questions: Why am I here? What is my purpose? Is what I’m doing now going to lead to happiness? Am I in the right job/relationship/city?

Asking yourself these types of questions can be difficult, but there are also some guides that can help you on your path. These come in the form of philosophers and thinkers who have pondered the meaning of life for centuries. Two of the most prominent ones in Buddhism are Socrates and Aristotle.

Socrates was a philosopher who believed that the most important question to ask is “What is virtue?”

This ties into awareness because he was trying to make people more self-aware. He wanted them to analyze themselves and their actions to see if they were really living a good life. The problem is that people of low morality will still think that what they’re doing is good, no matter how horrible the act may be.

Aristotle was more of a “naturalist” whereas Socrates was a moralist. While both of them believed that acceptance was important, they differed on how people achieve it. For example, Aristotle believed that people should accept their fate or circumstances because it was out of their control.

It seems that many other ancient Greeks shared this belief, since they did not revolt against their government until centuries after Aristotle’s death.

How to Stop Fighting Your Fate

This may be the most important question of them all: How do you accept what will inevitably happen?

Here are some steps that can help you accept your fate:

1. Admit and Acknowledge

The first step to anything is admitting and recognizing the problem, which in this case is you. Yes, you are human and prone to making mistakes, which makes changing very difficult sometimes. The first step is to admit that you need to change.

2. Stop Fighting It

Many people waste so much of their lives fighting their true nature. You aren’t going to change who you are or what’s going to happen, so stop fighting it. Accept your fate and move on.

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3. Changing the Way You Think

After you accept that you need to make some changes, then it’s time to start rethinking the way you think about things. This is a slow and gradual process that might take awhile, but eventually you will change your mindset.

Doing these steps may be difficult for some people, but if you follow them then it will lead to less suffering in the long run. Always remember that no matter what happens, you are not alone. Change is one of the many things that make us human, so embrace it.

This is just one way that you can approach the problem of change in your life. Others may disagree with my approach, but as long as it works and makes you happier then that’s all that matters. It is your life after all.

We should all spend more time thinking about what we want out of our lives, rather than just floating along and allowing events to dictate our fates.

I hope this book has given you the knowledge to reach your full potential in life and help you achieve happiness.

Life is a mixture of good and bad, but it’s important to not dwell on the bad too much as it can consume you if you let it. Instead of focusing on the bad, try to find the good in everything.

Stay hopeful and optimistic and always remember that you are never alone. There are many others in the world that are going through the same things you are.

I hope you make the right choices in life, whatever they may be.

Good luck and best wishes.

Sources & references used in this article:

The meaning and process of pain acceptance. Perceptions of women living with arthritis and fibromyalgia by DL LaChapelle, S Lavoie, A Boudreau – Pain Research and …, 2008 – hindawi.com

Suffering in sport: why people willingly embrace negative emotional experiences by MS Brady – Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, 2019 – Taylor & Francis

Full catastrophe living, revised edition: how to cope with stress, pain and illness using mindfulness meditation by J Kabat-Zinn – 2013 – books.google.com

The role of psychological interventions in the management of patients with chronic pain by D Roditi, ME Robinson – Psychology research and behavior …, 2011 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Low back pain: it is time to embrace complexity by JM Hush – Pain, 2020 – journals.lww.com

Acceptance and commitment therapy for chronic pain by JA Dahl, C Luciano, K Wilson – 2005 – books.google.com

Stealing the pain of others: Reflections on Canadian humanitarian responses by SH Razack – The Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural …, 2007 – Taylor & Francis

“Shaking It Off” and “Toughing It Out” Socialization to Pain and Injury in Girls’ Softball by NL Malcom – Journal of contemporary ethnography, 2006 – journals.sagepub.com

Reconsidering the International Association for the Study of Pain definition of pain by M Cohen, J Quintner, S van Rysewyk – Pain reports, 2018 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov