Acceptance

Of all the Shimenawa virtues, this first one seems to be the most difficult to learn to practice if you grew up in a culture that prized motion, progress, and results above all. Like most of what we call “Western culture”, which tends to be obsessed with getting THERE. The prescriptions are endless, almost all of the “you gotta do more” variety. Build more products. Write more articles. Follow more rules. Follow them better. Follow them perfectly. I’m sure I don’t have to explain this to you – you are probably already quite familiar with all of this.

This obsession with THERE can induce a certain restlessness — a desire to keep moving, to swing into action, perhaps even before you have fully considered the manner in which it should be performed. Or, it can induce a sense of being paralyzed, overwhelmed, where you simply don’t know what to do next – there is so much to be accomplished. Either of these feelings – restless or overwhelmed – can make it quite difficult to accept that you are HERE at the present moment, and there’s no changing that. None at all.

To complicate matters further, the act of immediately setting off for THERE may not be in the cards for you right now. Sometimes it’s not advisable. Sometimes it’s not even possible. Why? Because there is a reason you are HERE. Many reasons, perhaps. Maybe HERE is a result of prior choices you’ve made yourself. Maybe circumstances beyond your control have placed you HERE.

Whatever those reasons might be, it’s a pretty safe bet that Heaven wants you HERE. Most likely, HERE is where you will learn what you need to learn before you can truly head for the THERE you are destined for.

Most likely, HERE is where you will learn what you need to learn before you can truly head for the THERE you are destined for.

Beginning with this thought is a good way to battle the years of habits you have formed. If Heaven wants you right HERE for the present, why argue? If Heaven wants you right HERE, then all your mental constructs about heading off for elsewhere, of dashing THERE, may not be the best, most productive course.

Perhaps most critically, accepting that Heaven has specific intentions for you means accepting that your life, and ultimately your happiness, does not depend on doing whatever you might think will please you at the moment. It depends on following. And right now, following means to relax and take the blessings of your current situation with no small measure of gratitude.