The Power of Acceptance

Trying to build a wall to keep emotions out can cause one to keep emotions in. It may be helpful to remember that you are not your emotions and to practice loving and accepting your emotions rather than either fighting them or increasing them. This story is paraphrased from Anthony de Mello, S.J. (1983) and illustrates the concept of acceptance:


A man bought a new house and decided he wanted a beautiful lawn. He worked on it every week, doing everything the gardening books told him to do. His biggest problem was that the lawn always had dandelions growing where he didn’t want them. The first time he found them, he pulled them out, but they grew back. He bought weed killer, and it worked for some time, but the rains brought the dandelions back. He killed dandelions all summer. The next summer he thought he’d gotten rid of them, but they came back. He changed the entire grass and new sod, and it worked for some time. But just as he was relaxing, a dandelion came up. He thought it was the neighbor’s lawns, so he campaigned to get all his neighbors to kill their dandelions. By the third year, he was exasperated. He wrote the Dept of Agriculture for advice finally, and after several months got a letter back. “We have considered your problem and have consulted all the experts. After careful consideration, our advice is that you learn to love those dandelions.”

Copyright © 2016 Marlynn Wei, M.D., PLLC


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