In all 12 step programmes Step 1 is about personally accepting that we have a problem.
Acceptance is the Greatest Gift
My dear Mum always says, "Acceptance is the greatest gift". To accept that things are as they are, without fight or reaction, is to be Present. Being truly present, in the current moment in time, is the only way to be free of the tyranic power of ego and self.
The Secret to Acceptance
This is extract, from Eckhart Tolle's book "A New Earth", describes a way to practice acceptance:
"I don't mind what happens"
J. Krishnamurti, the great Indian philosopher and spiritual teacher, spoke and travelled almost continuously all over the world for more than fifty years attempting to convey through words - which are content - that which is beyond words, beyond content. At one of his talks in the later part of his life, he surprised his audience by asking. "Do you want to know my secret?' Everyone became very alert. Many people in the audience had been coming to listen to him for twenty or thirty years and still failed to grasp the essence of his teaching. Finally, after all these years, the master would give them the key to understanding. "This is my secret." he said, “I don’t mind what happens."
A Benchmark of Acceptance
"Is that So?"
Hakuin Ekaku, a master of Zen Buddhism, lived in a town in Japan. He was held in high regard and many people came to him for spiritual teaching. Then it happened that the teenage daughter of his next-door neighbour became pregnant. When being questioned by her angry and scolding parents as to the identity of the father, she finally told them that he was Hakuin, the Zen Master. In great anger the parents rushed over to Hakuin and told him with much shouting and accusing that their daughter had confessed that he was the father. All he replied was. "Is that so?" News of the scandal spread throughout the town and beyond. The Master lost his reputation. This did not trouble him. Nobody came to see him anymore. He remained unmoved. When the child was born, the parents brought the baby to Hakuin. "You are the father, so you look after him." The Master took loving care of the child. A year later, the mother remorsefully confessed to her parents that the real father of the child was the young man who worked at the butcher shop. In great distress they went to see Hakuin to apologise and ask for forgiveness. "We are really sorry. We have come to take the baby back. Our daughter confessed that you are not the father." "Is that so?" is all he would say as he handed the baby over to them. The Master responds to falsehood and truth, bad news and good news, in exactly the same way: "Is that so?" He allows the form of the moment, good or bad, to be as it is and so does not become a participant in human drama. To him there is only this moment, and this moment is as it is. Events are not personalised. He is nobody's victim. He is so completely at one with what happens that what happens has no power over him anymore. Only if you resist what happens are you at the mercy of what happens, and the world will determine your happiness and unhappiness. The baby is looked after with loving care. Bad turns into good through the power of nonresistance. Always responding to what the present moment requires, he lets go of the baby when it is time to do so. Imagine briefly how the ego would have reacted during the various stages of the unfolding of these events.