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The Four Gates of Advent: No.3 - The Gate of Assent

Posted by Simon Parke, 12 December 2022, 9.55am

Sometimes in the day, we need to step out of our current mind set in order to find fresh lands of possibility. On difficult days we may need to do this more than once. So we push at a gate which leads us off our well-beaten track to a different place. And suddenly our day can feel different.

One such gate is the gate of assent.

When we push at this gate, we leave behind complaint at how things are. Do you recognise this state? It’s quite common. But instead of complaint at how things are, with a few deep breaths, we give our assent to them; allow things their present shape.

‘I allow this reality.’

Our complaint at life may be spoken to many; or it may be silent, in quiet resentment or heavy despair. But however experienced, it sets us at odds with our circumstances where nothing is perceived to be right. It sets us in battle-mode with reality, we commit to frustration - and there is no peace here.

‘If only this or if only that, then things would be so much better.’

We set our hearts on change; though strangely, a complaining spirit is the least effective way to achieve it.

Although it’s counter-intuitive, to accept things as they are is the beginning of true change. I think of the Ukrainian salsa teacher, who continued her class even when bombs had taken light from her studio.

Instead of raging against the darkness, and saying, ‘if only’…she allowed it, played in it - and allowed others to play too.

Her playfulness echoes across the land and becomes the change.

Assent brings more fruitful change than complaint, with my ego and its endless carping taken out of the equation.

My internal judge changes nothing for the good. Nothing and no one is blessed or changed by my negative take on circumstances. 

As we enter the gate of assent, however we arrived here, we allow what is. ‘Here I am and this is OK.’ It’s as simple and as difficult as that.

The gate of assent embraces our life rather than setting us against it. We befriend our reality.

And the embrace makes all things well.

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