The Welcoming Prayer – coming to acceptance
The Welcoming Prayer: coming to acceptance
As a caveat to this mediation:
There is almost always an equally true opposite to every truth. Acceptance is a wonderful contemplative practice but there are times when a more helpful response would be thanksgiving, action of some kind, asking for help. There are also some behaviours from us to others or others to us that are not acceptable, especially when they cause harm.
With that in mind, we now turn towards the gift of acceptance.
I have found in my own life and in the lives of those I work with that acceptance often does not come easily.
To accept myself when I’m acutely aware of my flaws, when I make mistakes, when I fail can be a tall order.
It’s often an easier and more well worn path to punish, criticise and condemn ourselves and others in their frailty rather than reach within or out with loving acceptance.
It can also be challenging to accept situations in life that we never asked for or expected and that are hard to live with. These situations may come in the form of a relationship betrayal, a sudden illness, a loss, a financial change and any number of other ways.
We often turn to fight behaviour where we dig deep and do all we can to change what we don’t like in ourselves, others or our circumstances.
We may go into flight mode and run away instead of simply sit with the difficulty, or what is causing us disruption and pain.
We may resort to blame, punishment or regret as forms with which to beat ourselves and others up.
These modes of response often leave us weary, bruised, perplexed and defeated.
To accept is a different response, to accept myself, others or my situation often opens a spacious place within. It makes room for compassion and love which makes way for healing and restoration to be received.
To accept means to let go, to relinquish the fight, to give in – not with resignation, but with trusting intention. To trust God to take care of us, to trust love to make a way.
To accept means to stop the quest for answers and to accept mystery.
To accept means to give up my demands, my control, my working it out and instead fall into love.
It may take time, it may take a daily decision, it will take the gift of grace offered by a loving Holy Spirit. But it will change us, set us free and open a new way of being, seeing and living within what is rather than fighting for what isn’t.
We return again to a contemplative prayer space where we will meditate with the words of the Welcoming Prayer as a way to come to deeper acceptance in whatever part of our lives that invitation comes.
I’ll read the prayer slowly and then invite a response….
Before beginning sit comfortably yet attentively, take some deeper breaths bringing attention to the movement of air and away from the head. Sink into the chair, relax the shoulders and move awareness from the head to heart space.
Here we welcome stillness and silence.
Welcome, welcome, welcome.
I welcome everything that comes to me today
because I know it’s for my healing.
I welcome all thoughts, feelings, emotions, persons,
situations, and conditions.
I let go of my desire for power and control.
I let go of my desire for affection, esteem,
approval and pleasure.
I let go of my desire for survival and security.
I let go of my desire to change any situation,
condition, person or myself.
I open to the love and presence of God and
God’s action within.
Am I aware of places within me that are fighting right now?
Am I aware of anything that I’m running from in order to avoid facing into it and opening the way for acceptance to come?
Am I aware of any demands I’m making of life?
Am I aware of any people in my day to day that I’m struggling to accept?
Do I continually have “why” questions running through my mind?
Allow answers to these questions to surface. Observe what comes, turn attention towards what you see, hear and feel. Don’t judge, criticise or condemn what surfaces, simply be present to it in a loving, compassionate way.
See yourself held here with what has come up for you. See yourself wrapped in the love and compassion of The Trinity – Father, Son, Spirit.
Become aware of the presence of great love and kindness towards you.
What are you being invited to accept?
Where are you being invited to let go, give up the fight and let it be?
What is being offered to you here from Father, Holy Spirit or Jesus – or your name for God?
Receive the gifts they bring.
Linger in this place or surrender and receiving. Welcome acceptance as a gift.
We finish once more with the Welcoming Prayer.