Acceptance: a firm foundation for joy

joy acceptance

I found a meditation this week that is designed to help us accept our life moment by moment without judgement or the expectation for life to be other than what it is. Core mindfulness content indeed.

What surprised me was where I found this particular meditation. It is in a book called ‘The Book of Joy’. One step in the meditation is to think of a situation that you are having a hard time accepting. The next step is to remind yourself that this is the nature of reality because painful realities happen to us, those we love and are all around us in the world. The meditation is based on the idea that any possibility of joy requires an acceptance of reality. (If this stuff was easy, we wouldn’t have to work at it!).

The final step is to choose to recite or reflect on one of two passages, one from the Buddhist and one from the Christian tradition.

If something can be done about it,
what need is there for dejection?
And if nothing can be done about it,
what use is there for being dejected?
Shantideva, The Way of the Bodhisattva

God, give us the grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Reinhold Niebuhr, The Serenity Prayer

Sometimes acceptance of a situation is our destination; at other times as we accept a situation we see a way forward – an action we can choose to take – and therein is the possibility of joy.

This is Mindful Monday on 3 December 2018.

Join Julie Hill and Sara Shailer to explore growing in joy tonight at the Oasis in Cheltenham, 7.30-9 pm. Email to book your place.

One thought on “Acceptance: a firm foundation for joy

  1. Margaret Didcote. says:

    As I was reading this, I thought of the serenity prayer, and I remember Dave quoting a longer version of it . Thank you for the reminder.


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