Life is Good. My Inner Curmudgeon hates that crap but my Inner Curmudgeon is a black and white thinker. He sees Life is Good and thinks Always Good. He may ask, What world are you watching? Over the years, I’ve learned to be less literal than my Inner Curmudgeon would like me to be. I can see Life is Good and subconsciously insert Usually. Or Mostly. Or Sometimes. Which depends upon what is going on in my life at the moment, as well as on my attitude, whether I am being Bud Light or Bud Dark. But my Inner Curmudgeon and I agree on one thing (many, actually) – sometimes, Life Sucks. We have to do things that we dread doing. We lose loved ones or friends. Hopefully, it’s just the end of a relationship but sometimes it’s worse. We endure financial travails or illness. Nope. Life isn’t always good. My longest standing reader, Terri of These Are Days, recently wrote a post about worrying about her grown children, even though they are not in her care anymore. A girl near the age of her children was killed in an auto accident, which set her to worrying about her children’s travels by automobile. It’s natural, most of her commenters said. What Moms do. Believe me, I know. Dads, too. My kids have quite a few years on Terri’s but they’ve made choices that would make my hair stand on end … if I had any. I have been letting worry over my kids … and actions I need to take … darken my still young 2014, too. I’ve been Bud Dark.
Thinking about my situation … and Terri’s post … I realized that for me, only Acceptance helps. There are people who tell me, If you worry, why pray? – If you pray, why worry? They tell me Things work out for the best and Everything happens for a reason. I envy those for whom such platitudes work. But I’d answer that sometimes I pray and bad things happen anyway. And for me, Cosmic Reasons don’t ease the pain when life sucks. Wikipedia says Acceptance in human psychology is a person’s assent to the reality of a situation, recognizing a process or condition (often a negative or uncomfortable situation) without attempting to change it, protest, or exit. That is:
If I understand, things are just as they are; if I don’t understand, things are just as they are – Zen saying
I’ve needed something more spiritual than that, a sense that there may be a purpose to something even though I haven’t the faintest idea what it is. I personally believe I can find a purpose, something to learn in everything, and looking for it helps keep my eyes on the road ahead. For me, that’s required faith, a belief in a Higher Power that guides this crazy universe we live in. When I pray, I may pray for certain outcomes, but mostly, I pray for Acceptance and that is usually available but rarely easy. It’s work. But when I’m in Acceptance, I’m not paralyzed by situations, I’m less inclined to second guess myself, and, in the long run, I worry less because it gives me a means to walk through anything. Yes, with joy, anger, sadness. But at least I’m walking.
Of course there is no formula for success except, perhaps, an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings – Arthur Rubinstein
How do you achieve Acceptance? Do you?