Acceptance BY DONNA DAY © 2022
This week’s Peace Nurturing Practice is Choosing acceptance.
Listening to and watching 100+ mph winds for hour upon hour upon hour, while huddled in a space we hoped was safe, was perfect training ground for acceptance, courtesy of Hurricane Ian.
- Acceptance of need to prepare and be ready to evacuate.
- Acceptance of powerlessness in face of hurricane force winds and flooding.
- Acceptance of the experiences of living through Ian.
- Accepting our fears, limitations, and nobility.
- Acceptance of results of Ian.
- Acceptance of help from others.
- Acceptance of importance of helping others.
- Acceptance of not being able to physically do as much as one might wish to help others. (This one has been particularly challenging for me.)
There is sublime peace in allowing all things to be what they are rather than arguing with what is. As we come forward from this experience, grateful to be alive, we come to the realization of the wisdom of Byron Katie’s words: “Nothing belongs to me. Everything comes and goes. Serenity is an open door.” Yes, Byron, peace is always available for us to choose by walking through that open door.
Hurricane Ian masterfully gifted us a lesson in letting go of the pretense of our ability to control events and other people, and the weather. Rather than expect everything to stay the way it is in this moment and argue with reality, once we accept our lack of control, we gain in joy and peace. Despite our aspirations to be queen or king of the world, we never really were in charge and never will be.
All of us have experienced loss, unexpected and unwelcome change at some point(s) in our lives. We can spend the rest of our lives bemoaning our miserable fate or step up and choose acceptance of what has happened. Once we open our hearts to acceptance, we begin to see and experience the blessings that flowed through this “disaster.” In my neighborhood, the cohesiveness and camaraderie has been deeply touching. People are so very kind. Grace and Rocky have experienced great devastation to their home and yet she spent time passing out avocados to neighbors while he entertained them with his dry humor. My neighbor Carl has offered to help put my fence back in place while his own lanai and shed were in tatters. Joannie and Alex popped my tattered shed and its contents back up in place as if it were a slightly heavy pillow while showering us with kindly smiles and humor.
We have absolute choice in how we respond to change, to others, to world events. Once we get clear about our power lying in our ability and willingness to choose acceptance, we step into the realm of our true power which always lies in choosing love and peace rather than fear and angst.
Peace flows to us
through wanting it
than an argument with reality.
While we choose to accept what is, we may not find it desirable and so are motivated to be an agent of greater good. If we are dismayed by seemingly constant invitations to be angry and dismissive of one another, we first accept that it is happening and then choose to be an agent of loving kindness, compassion, peace, tolerance, and brotherhood.
We “become the change we want to see” as Gandhi so wisely advised. We become the love, the kindness, and the peace we desire.
Reflections – I am not going to say I was peaceful all during Ian, because I was not. I assumed I would sit quietly, peacefully in the “safe” space, my closet and simply read throughout the hurricane. That was not at all what happened! I would try to read and a page and then read it over and over and finally give up. Fortunately for me, although I could not read during the hurricane, I could, and did, meditate. Those were peaceful interludes which were interspersed with wondering if that last weird, loud sound on the roof was a solar panel leaving or something else making a crash landing. The meditations were welcome and serene. Eventually, I chose to accept my lack of “perfect peace” and thereby chose peace.
Another opportunity for growth for me has arisen now in Ian’s aftermath: accepting my physical and energetic abilities and limitations. I have the feeling I should do more, help more, and so am able to drive myself slightly nuts with admonishments about not calling this one yet or offering to fix a roof, or not helping prop up a fence, etc. Grateful to say two great blessings are flowing from my self-torture and eventual desire to stop it it. First, I choose to accept myself just as I am in this moment. (Isn’t that something I already knew?) I thought so, but this refresher course is powerful. I choose to accept I can do what I can do and am grateful to be able to do it.
Second, I realize that my gifts are of love and peace and those do not require any muscles. It all feels like a silly dream when I decided to forget love is the greatest gift of all. Yes, helping someone fix a leak in the roof is essential, desirable, and incredibly welcome, but that does not negate the power and importance of love and peace.
Heading into Ian, I had quoted Julian of Norwich: “All is well, and all shall be well.” And so it is… I am grateful have found my way back to accept myself, my gifts, and our world as they are.
Your turn to reflect – Is there something you are not accepting? Remember: It’s okay if you don’t like it, but it only gets us into trouble when we refuse to accept what is. How do you think you would feel if you were to accept this situation/person/event?
Thank you for being a vital part of Peace on Earth by nurturing peace in your heart, in your life. The more that you embody peace, the more peace there is.
Your comments and suggestions are welcomed. (Click on the blue link below.)
“Whatever you accept completely
will take you to peace,
including the acceptance
that you cannot accept,
that you are in resistance.”
White water lily (nymphaea odorata)
Photo taken at T Mabry Carlton Reserve by Donna Day
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