Q. Does acceptance mean that we become compliant and be treated like a doormat? Despite my best efforts, I’m unable to do better in my career, and as a result, I’m receiving harassment from parents, relatives, and friends. They are completely self-absorbed in their own idea of pride and prestige and don’t feel any empathy towards my condition. I cannot match their expectations, and I think I’m letting them down. Do I accept this harassment and ill-treatment as God’s will?
A. Again, there’s an “I” here that thinks it knows God’s will. If you say that you accept your current situation as fate, you’re still assuming that you know better. How can you know that not doing anything about the present situation is God’s will?
The created object (you) cannot know the will of the creator source or the absolute or God. Call it whatever you like. You must do precisely what you think is the right action at the moment. If you think you should protest and express your displeasure at the treatment by your relatives, do it. Or, if you feel you need more time to assess your present situation and come up with an alternate plan, do that.
Since you’re not the thinker, but the awareness in which the thoughts appear, you’re incapable of making a wrong decision. Right or wrong is just an egoic concept. You’re in a situation where you’ll have to take an action cause you’re incapable of inaction. The source or energy is taking all the actions through your body-mind complex. There’s no “YOU” at the center to take the guilt of the wrong decision. So what are you scared of?
The true acceptance is that everything is the will of God; therefore, none of the so-called decisions are indeed yours, and nor are the outcomes in your control. Your protest may lead to freedom, or it may not. The ego-mind will keep contemplating different scenarios. That’s what it does.
From your question, I sense an underlying fear. A fear that you may make the wrong decision, which may prove counterproductive or disastrous. This fear originates from an image that formed in your formative years. You fear that you may lose everything if you challenge the conventional way of thinking and protest.
This fear creates an additional emotional layer that prevents you from confronting your parents and relatives. I’ve heard countless people telling me, “I have complete acceptance that I’m not the doer of my actions.” That’s how the ego deludes itself. It sneakily enters through a secret passage. There’s no “I” that can ever accept anything. The acceptance happens.
When the acceptance happens, the fear dissipates, and all outcomes are accepted. The more you keep asserting that you know, the more you delude yourself, and even that happens because it’s the will of God. You’re not the doer of your actions. So why fear? Take a stance, and stick to it.
Q. But what if I hurt my parent’s feelings?
A. Okay, let’s examine this. Why do we feel hurt? Is the hurt outside or within? If you believe that the hurt comes from the outside, then your emotions can be easily manipulated by the people around you. You become like a puppet in other people’s hands. Then anyone can trigger your feelings and emotions the way they want.
In other words, if you believe that others are the doers of their actions, you’ll likely remain ego sensitive your whole life. The way people (and you) behave depends on two things: genetic predisposition and socio-environmental conditioning. And we don’t have any control over either of these.
If your parents think that they know what’s best for you, it comes from the programming of their parents, teachers, and caretakers. And the same holds for every generation. So you’re not capable of hurting your parents. The hurt will arise depending on their conditioning, which is the will of God. The source of their afflictions is the false image of pride, prestige, and glory that they carry within. It’s got nothing to do with your actions.
I’m not implying that we abandon reason and become rebellious, defying our parents for everything or being rude. What I am saying is that we don’t have to be scared while expressing our true feelings or making any decision because it is truly not ours. You’re not capable of hurting anyone, nor you’re capable of preventing anyone from being hurt unless it is the will of God.
The doership is when the created object (you) thinks it can change the outcome according to its preferences or notions of good or bad. The outcome is not in our hands. Your thinking of doing nothing or submitting to harassment being God’s will is doership.
True acceptance is when the peace prevails despite knowing that our actions may or may not lead to the desired results. But that shouldn’t stop us from making decisions and acting on them.
In the battle of the great epic Mahabharata, the warrior Arjuna is somewhat in a similar situation (though much direr) where he faces his relatives as opponents on the battlefield. It’s not a question of fear in this case, as Arjuna can wipe out armies all by himself. He’s experiencing emotional turbulence as he’s about to fight his loved ones – his teachers, brothers, and other relatives.
He tells Lord Krishna that it’s better to beg on the streets than be a part of such a battle and kill people he has grown up with. A long dialogue ensues between them, which is recorded in the sacred Hindu text, Bhagavad Gita.
Finally, Krishna convinces Arjuna to fight, not through emotional manipulation but by showing him his true self. He tells Arjuna that “He” as time has already concluded the battle and that Arjuna is simply an instrument through which things are happening. He explains that only the body dies and that the essence is immortal.
Similarly, the mind-body complex is simply an instrument of divine expression. Therefore, knowing ourselves as the limited psychophysical organism, we remain bound to the outcome of our actions. But realizing our true nature, the ego realizes that it’s not the doer, and the acceptance arises in the awareness of THAT WE ARE.