The Presence in Acceptance

Published in
10 min readApr 20, 2023


How Accepting Invites Possibility

📖 Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction: ⫸ 🔮 SAYING “YES!” ⫷ 🔮
  2. 🔮 ⫸ I ACCEPT MYSELF ⫷ 🔮
  4. 🔮 ⫸ BEING WITH BEING ⫷🔮
  5. 🔮 ⫸ I AM WHERE I AM ⫷🔮
  7. 🔮 ⫸ I AM THE WITNESS ⫷ 🔮
  10. 🔮 ⫸ TURNING MYSELF ON ⫷ 🔮
  12. Conclusion: 🔮 ⫸ ACCEPTING ‘I AM’ PRESENCE ⫷ 🔮

1. ⚛ Introduction: 🔮 ⫸ SAYING, “YES!” ⫷ 🔮


I take it for granted.


I want it.

I need it.

I yearn for it.

But for what, exactly?

Do I even know???


With the Sanskrit symbol for peace and the word, “Peace,” carved into its face, a stone slab stands victorious and resolute.
Rather than accepting only what I want, which means resisting everything I don’t, peace derives from accepting and ’being withwhat is. Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

I’d like to “Accept” more.

How ironic.

Accepting means saying, “Yes!!!

To what is.



A noble goal.

A goal baked into my existence.

So much so, I feel it vital to clarify.


2. 🔮 ⫸ I ACCEPT MYSELF ⫷ 🔮

A few years back, I wrote a song called, “I Accept Myself.”

I Accept Myself©” stands as the penultimate song of my one-man show, “My Damage is My Gift! = The Dysfunctional Family Musical™

⫸ 🔮Listen to an ‘a cappella’ rendition of “I Accept Myself©” by clicking here, then scrolling to this spot in “The Presence of Acceptance” on Substack. ⫷ 🔮

As the words imply, with an eye towards increasing awareness, process and intention make possible exploring inner territory.

In my role as a spiritual teacher I’ve developed a variety of approaches which cultivate witnessing previously hidden, disallowed, or undiscovered parts. And embracing every discovery. After all, ‘self-acceptance’ lies at the heart of commonly agreed upon understandings of ‘acceptance.’

With arms spread wide, a man steps forward across a white rope stretched over the canyon of the river far below.
Balancing on the natural tightrope of presence. I find expanded/heightened awareness enriches experience and increases pleasure, even at times, to be thrilling. I’m also continually reminded not to derail my evolution by seeing anything in or around me as ‘wrong.’ Photo by Loic Lerayon Unsplash

Even so, what if ‘accepting’ means tapping into and coming to peace with greater forces?

What if comprehensive consciousness invites me to consider and welcome elements beyond myself?

What if stepping into this kind of overarching perspective serves to support my journey toward self-acceptance?

3. 🔮 ⫸ Expanding Acceptance ⫷ 🔮

Even self-proclaimed atheists recognize perspectives which acknowledge all-encompassing presence. Different labels may categorize distinct frameworks. Yet, whether referred to as ‘chaos’ and ‘randomness’ or ‘spirit’ and ‘Love,’ organizing principles shape our universe.

A cute black dog presents a blue ’Thank You!’ card by holding it in her mouth.
Being grateful for ‘what is’ serves as a great way of — and a gateway for — accepting the present. Photo by Howie R on Unsplash

Perhaps — just perhaps — a key becomes increasing my understanding of “acceptance.”

Accepting the gift of the present.

Accepting the present as a gift.

Let’s try on new meanings.

🔔 ➛ Accepting ALL.

🔔 ➛ Accepting ALL THAT IS.

🔔 ➛ Accepting EVERYTHING.

Taken these ways, ‘accepting’ might answer almost every question.


Perhaps, ‘accepting’ invokes peace.

Peace invoked through ‘accepting.’

As I accept that which is presently being invited into being, I accept my own being; my own ‘way of being’; my own ‘being-ness.’

A four-year-old brunette begins to peal blue wrapping paper from the present in front of her.
Being with whatever unfolds empowers opening presence/presents. Photo by Mike Cox on Unsplash


Being with’ whatever unfolds.

No matter what.

Responding as myself; “YES!”

Aware of context and perspective; “YES!”

Influencing and initiating; “YES!”


➢ Not fighting against.

➢ Not trying ‘not to be where I am.’

➢ Not trying ‘not to be who I am.’

➢ Not trying in any way ‘not to be.’

Neither resisting, nor resenting what’s coming up or going down.

💖 ➢ Being through what I’m involving myself in.

💖 ➢ Being in what I’m participating with.

💖 ➢ Being with myself.


5. 🔮 ⫸ I AM WHERE I AM ⫷ 🔮

The expression,

“No matter where I go, there I am,”

…contains tremendous power. According to some, Confucius orginally said these words.

Since, ‘No Matter Where I Go, There I am,’ I may as well learn to accept myself.

— Jonathan Prager

It stands to reason, as well, that in accepting, I might find joy.

I need not run.

I need not hide.

I find myself, and my joy, by welcoming truth.

My own truth.

The truth around me.

The truth inside me.


Now, the impediment comes when I ‘don’t like’ what’s developing. When events seem to be turning ‘against’ what I wish will happen. When what I ‘hope for’ seems not to be coming to fruition.

The Challenge?

To embrace understanding that forces beyond my control collaborate with my intentions to support realizing bountiful outcomes beyond ‘my hopes.’ To receive what’s taking place realizing that for all involved, as well as for me, what’s unfolding almost invariably turns out to be more advantageous and desirable than what I designed, designated, and dreamed.

A pile of precisely places stones precariously balances one on top of the other, perhaps supported by unseen forces.
Wisdom just may course through both animate and inanimate aspects of the Universe. Tapping into this wisdom might be as simple as ‘feeling into being-ness.’ Photo by Mor Shani on Unsplash

Even if my expectations seem to be being ‘dashed,’

Relinquishing clinging to ‘my most coveted outcome’, so that with space to embrace expanded possibility, I can ‘be with’ what is.

So doing marks honest acceptance and unwavering embrace.

7. 🔮 ⫸ I AM THE WITNESS ⫷ 🔮

Counterintuitive Paradox: Authentic acceptance constitutes the first step in authentic development. Acceptance accelerates expansion.

The more present I can be, the more I welcome/empower my evolution.

It’s not so much a matter of ‘forcing’ myself to do things which hitherto have seemed anathema or struck me as depressing. But rather, a matter of acceptance.

Surrendering into intention™’ rather than pushing through resistance.

Being with.’

What’s going on around me.

What’s going on inside me.

Preposterous as it may intially seem, accepting one means accepting the other. Accepting either means accepting both.

Stepping into full presence means welcoming everything.

That’s it.

There is nothing else.

An iconic picture of New York City’s Central Park’s tribute to John Lennon: the “Imagine” mosaic seen from above with two roses lying on the tiles.
Imagine what might be possible if by accepting what is, my way of being welcomes presence. Photo by Michael Aleo on Unsplash


I might refer to my innate Divine Potential.


I might call attention to the Collective Infinite Unconscious we all share.


I might hearken to what I call, “The Sacred Unknown” — the Holy space of ‘not knowing’, whence all creativity originates.

Yet, all of it — every miraculous component — comes through me.

💖 ➛ Through my senses.

💖 ➛ Through my imagination.

💖 ➛ Through my emotions.

💖 ➛ Through my experience.

💖 ➛ Through my ‘being with being.’

Being the witness not only stands as my distinct privilege, but blesses my life.


Acceptance means ‘being present in the grace of now.’

Being present in the grace of now means dropping into presence with presence; inviting, welcoming, and ‘being with’ everything arising within me, everything arriving through me, everything connecting inside me.

A droplet of water lands in a pool creating concentric circles which radiate outwards reflecting all the colors of the rainbow.
Even in seemingly mundane circumstances, droplets of acceptance open wondrous dimensions. Being ‘present with presence’ introduces ‘pleasure in being.’ Photo by Jordan McDonald on Unsplash

It means unconditional receptivity; radical receptivity; receptivity to what remains as of yet unmanifested — to the above mentioned Sacred Unknown.


Now, while saying, “Yes!” sounds wonderfully uplifting and spiritually aligning, saying, “Yes!” to “all that is” includes more than meets the eye; or at least more than I may be willing to embrace. In addition to what most of us refer to as ‘light’ or ‘bliss,’ ‘all that is’ includes the mundane, the profane, and the dark.

In embracing “all that is,” I cannot afford to ‘edit.’ Of course, I may not act out everything I embrace, yet I no longer have need to eliminate or eradicate.

Amazingly, through the lens of acceptance, I see everything as light. Because I used to categorize some territory as ‘undesirable,’ that which previously may have been inaccessible or un-allow-able not only comes into view, but turns into material which generates joy.

💎 ➛ The joy of ‘being.’

💎 ➛ The joy of ‘being with.’

💎 ➛ The joy of ‘BEING WITH BEING.’

I no longer judge.

For ‘judging’ means determining what I like and dislike, what I want and don’t want, what I move toward and recoil from, what I wish for and hope against, what I embrace and avoid.

Five adult deer alertly turn their heads focusing attention to their left.
Freely and fully experiencing without ‘editing’ or ‘judging’ — without cutting off from or out of anything — animals live through their senses. Photo by Simon Hurry on Unsplash

By accepting whatever presence invites, I let go of subjectively limiting my witnessing.

Witnessing everything around me means witnessing everything within me — no more and no less.

When I meet the comprehensive whole of me, I no longer fight. I let go of my need to shape my experience. I open into meeting all I witness with acceptance — whatever I recover, whatever I uncover, whatever I discover.

I open into meeting what I experience without need to alter, pigeon hole or interpret.

I become…

🐚 ➛ A receptive antenna.

🐚 ➛ An unflinching witness.

🐚 ➛ A vessel of light.

🐚 ➛ Pure presence.

Opening into meeting in grace what I behold.

Opening into beholding in grace what I meet.

Opening into gracing what I behold with presence.

Presence and Resistance: diametrical opposites.

Through presence I can witness plenty more than I can through resistance.

Grace and Reverence: as opposed to denial and dismissal.

Through reverence I can honor plenty more than I can through dismissal.


It may at first feel as if I welcome grace by accepting the world as it is. Yet, the underlying and overarching truth eventually becomes clear; I welcome grace through accepting myself.

Accepting myself becomes synonymous with ‘being with’ the world. When I’m with myself, I’m with ‘what is’.

A circular orange sign announces in whimsical white letters, “Now is a Gift!”
The grace of being present introduces intrinsic gifts which can only come to and through me NOW. Photo by Zachary Keimig on Unsplash

When I resist, I not only miss a great deal, but I also shut myself down. I use energy to ‘deny’ — to ‘turn away from.’ Refusing to welcome ‘what is’ requires ‘turning myself off.’

In Heaven’s name, why would I want to ‘turn myself off?”

Extinguish my light?

How does snuffing my flame out fulfill anyone or anything?

The whole point of living is “turning myself on!

And by doing so, lighting up the world.


To borrow a page from Joseph Campbell, by following my bliss I do both.

When I’m busy making sure not to notice what is stirring within me, what is calling to me, what is activating my soul, how can I possibly follow my bliss?

Black handwritten letters on a smooth elliptical stone counsel, “Be here now.”
The NOW ushers in portals of possibility which have no way of manifesting other than through the present. Photo by Shantanu Kulkarni on Unsplash

The most wonderful gift I can give myself is the gift of ‘being present.’

Being as present as I can be through accepting as much as I can accept.

More acceptance leads to more presence (presents.)

More presence leads to more acceptance.

I best re-present myself by present-ing myself.

12. ⚛ Conclusion: 🔮 ⫸ ACCEPTING ‘I AM’ PRESENCE ⫷ 🔮

As Eckhardt Tolle describes, ‘NOW’ continually re-presents a portal.

🔔 ➛ A portal to the Universe.

🔔 ➛ A portal to the Infinite.

🔔 ➛ A portal to myself.

By accepting ‘what is,’ I invite myself to travel through my very own portal all the way to finding MYSELF.

To enriching the world.

Through my own joy.

To re-present myself to myself.

“Accepting the present as a gift means accepting myself as a present.”

— Jonathan Prager

For, I am Divine.

Or if you prefer, I deserve to realize the potential of my entelechy.

I am ‘what is.”

I am that I am

I am who and what I’ve been searching for.

Thanks for stopping by.

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Songwriter, Poet, Comedian, One-man show performer, Imagin-Artist, Spiritual Guide, Leader in Love: Jonathan has sung, performed, & coached all over the world.