Acceptance is a lifetime practice–one long moment–less about events and more about impermanence.
I know the drill. Everything is going fine, life is good, and in a nanosecond, the entire landscape changes. It’s a new life lens: the joy of the extraordinary or the bottomless gulf of grief–and everything in between.
Life will not be as I want it, no matter how hard I hold or push it away. Somewhere between these two is a moment of not clinging and not avoiding–accepting what is–where forgiveness is not such a chore, its heady fragrance in the crushed petal of the violet. Life has changed.
Mine is to accept the experience–come what may–as neither doormat nor fortress. In acceptance, I respond with compassion. It may not be what others want but if I am mindful, I offer all I am able.
The older I am, the more I accept what a treasure change is. Still, I am a slow learner and sometimes given to stubbornness, steeped in the fear of being old. Yet, at any age, I am who I am.
Acceptance will not sit with fear. There is no room. The fragrance of forgiveness too heady. The pull of the life experience too strong.
I think that is the seat of self. Ageless? I don’t know.
It is the body that ages and mine not so well. I look older than my years; I have since my 50s. In my mid 30s the right side of my face began to sag.
Too much medication, wrong kind of medication, not enough medication. I don’t know. Maybe it would’ve happened anyway. I really haven’t noticed in these last years.
These days my visage sags with wrinkles, like the smoker’s lines above my lips. I don’t single out any one face furrow. They are the lines of my life, altogether.
Although I no longer drink, I once drank heavily. I know how fortunate I am in not missing alcohol. I thought it a change I would never make. Same with smoking.
I discovered that finding “life in the present” is as heady an experience as any martini—more so, actually—even better than the cigarette after dinner or sex.
Aging keeps me curious; judgment feels unreliable because it is. Aging reveals me as I am, flawed but ever viable. I need neither regret nor expectation. Who wants boomerangs?
In awe, I sit in the seat of self, where all gifts are given and received. Some are surprises, not all an easy open.
I may have an expiration date but the energy that animates this entire physical dimension does not. I’m not trying to stop any processes. I want to learn the grace of acceptance.
The body is a marvel at adapting to change. It is lifetime acceptance in action, forgiveness a given. All I need do is follow its lead and keep my life lens open.