Unconditional Acceptance – A Spiritual Story by Pat Archer
A couple of years ago I met a dear old lady who I will call Annie (not her real name). She was 97 and very frail and unable to walk but with a mind as bright as a button. I only knew her for a few short weeks before she passed on but I felt I knew her for a lifetime. We shared so much of ourselves in that short time and I feel very blessed to have known her.
I attended Annie’s funeral and it was there that I received the first part of a profound enlightenment. When the eulogies were being given, I suddenly experienced what I call the God feeling very strongly. (This intense feeling of total love goes way beyond anything mortal and it has often accompanied major aha moments, especially in the early days of my relationship with God. I soon came to understand that God wanted me to know that the new insight or piece of wisdom came from Him. The knowledge that I have acquired during these moments I call absolute knowings because I have known beyond a shadow of doubt that these learnings were absolute truth.)
It became apparent to me that God wanted me to listen very carefully to what was being said. Annie’s son was talking at the time about the way that Annie totally accepted everyone she encountered in her life, regardless of their situation, belief, habits or attitudes. She truly did know that we are all one and treated everyone equally. And I thought to myself, What is the lesson here? I do endeavour to accept everyone! This doesn’t seem to be anything that I haven’t already learnt.
It was a few days later before I realised that it was myself that I had to learn to accept unconditionally. I already accepted others as they are (along with their faults) but I have always been very hard on myself for the slightest little mistake or oversight on my part. It was okay for others to be less than perfect but I couldn’t accept that in myself.
It never ceases to amaze me how different events in our lives (and past lives) fall together to create a complete story. Shortly after Annie’s funeral, I had a thought that kept popping into my head that I had done a terrible wrong to a friend of mine in another lifetime. I didn’t want to think about it because it was really a very big transgression but my thoughts kept returning there regardless. And then I had a dream (something I don’t do very often as I am more likely to have waking dreams). In the dream I was the victim of the same transgression and the perpetrator in this instance was someone I also know very well in this lifetime.
As I was thinking about how these events were related (and also feeling rather bad because I knew my previous transgression was true), I felt what I call the voice feeling which is hard to describe. I don’t audibly hear actual words but I feel the words instead (and I have to admit that I am just a little envious of Neale Donald Walsch and Barbara Rose who do actually hear God’s voice audibly). And the voice said to me, Do you judge the one who wronged you?
And I thought no I don’t, it doesn’t make any difference to the way I feel about this person at all. And the voice said, Well why are you judging yourself so harshly for your wrongdoing when you can accept it in another? And that’s when I realised that all of these events occurred so that I might learn to accept myself as readily as I accept others. It is not a lesson totally learnt even now and I do still tend to berate myself for not doing everything I set out to do but I have definitely made some progress and have somewhat relaxed my expectations of myself to a level which is more humanly achievable.
After being agnostic for most of my life, Pat became a believer just a few years ago and has been on an amazing spiritual journey ever since.