Acceptance is a lifetime practice–one long moment–less about events and more about impermanence.
You 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 we want it, no matter how hard we hold onto 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, never to be undone. Life has changed.
Mine is to accept the experience–come what may–I am 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. It is all I have.
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 is a lifelong moment but it 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 does age 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 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.