Those concepts: “Letting go” and “Acceptance” are difficult. They challenge us to ask what we believe. What are we responsible for? Where are our boundaries? They ask us to be in the unknown- a scary place to visit let alone live there!
If I “let go” – I’m not holding on and if I’m not holding on- I’ll fall into the abyss- and if I fall into the abyss- I’ll disappear, maybe I’ll die. Maybe I won’t matter.
If I “accept” am I disengaged? If I’m not engaged, does it mean I don’t care, If I don’t care, who will care? How can acceptance be anything more than surrendering? If I surrender, I feel like I gave up.
When we are fighting to hold on, we aren’t living.
When we live without acceptance, we wage war on the possible- we deny the magnificent.
I am journeying through a difficult time with my parents. I have spent many nights worrying as their complex house of cards seems like it will come crashing down. Even though my rational mind knows that everything I worry about will probably not happen. The events I can’t imagine, will most likely happen- and I won’t even be able to worry.
It’s like being in a game in which you bash down one monster only to have another pop up somewhere you weren’t looking. That game is rigged and you can’t 100% win it- but you keep trying, because you get points for how many monsters you smash. It’s intoxicating-and very hard to quit.
This human condition is curious to me. It asks us at the very same moment to react because it is part of our limbic system to do so and yet, we also have the gift of choice- we can choose to understand our relationship with the unpredictable.
What if “letting go” means we can reach “acceptance”- and what if- in acceptance there is possibility for the way forward- to quit the game that we can’t win and to embrace the alternative- the possible, the magnificent.
My son was born into questions and explanations about his complexities and the unknowns of his life. My sister , far away in California, was diagnosed with cancer and within months, she was gone. My former husband journeyed through a grueling battle with cancer during which time the management of his care and matters of his life and estate were at times, overwhelming. My parents have had each other for 62 years, but they are struggling with complex issues and the challenges of sustaining their quality of life. I live far away. It is not easy to bear witness.
As I reflect upon these life-altering events, I see my faith in that for which there is no evidence, and my belief in universal order. I was called to each of these experiences and fortified by a sense of the divine. Whenever I believed I could “let go-“ life was easier, I could have fun, be joyful, deliver, be beneficial, offer up my best – love- even in the face of fear, sadness, anger, unfairness and disappointment. What was I letting go of? My expectations, my need to know, my desire to “be in charge” of the outcomes.
“Letting go” and “acceptance” did not mean giving up my potential for influence.
I’m not going to deny the difficulties of raising a child with unique needs, my sense of duty and love are unwavering, but the possibilities have grown exponentially when I let go. My resourcefulness increased when I let go. My heart expanded when I let go. I moved mountains when I let go of believing the mountain couldn’t be moved. My son transformed into a capable and independent person-but I had to let golf limiting beliefs so that could happen.
Despite the odds against it – he eventually went to college and lives independently. My sister and I finished our business here on earth-it was heartbreaking, but part of the deal was the deep connection I would forge with her daughter, who is now navigating her exceptional path of Human Rights Advocacy. In the aftermath of my former husband’s passage, my son and I began a chapter of healing and opportunity. I had to forgive and “let go” of many years of grievances. I spent many years unmarried, and wondered if I’d ever find him- yet,I did meet and marry the partner I longed to be with.I had to be ready- there was a lot I had to let go of-to allow that to happen.
What I didn’t know, is that I didn’t have to control anything – even throughout those hard years – I just had to show up and practice bringing forth the best of myself. I couldn’t t expect anything else- My energy and the universe conspired to do the heavy lifting.
Begin right here. What’s your way forward?
I don’t know anyone who is 100% perfect at it- just look inward and ask:
Can I let go of whatever holds me back? Can I hold on to my faith?
Can I accept all that is, to become a seeker of that which is possible and magnificent?