"Happiness can exist only in acceptance." - George Orwell
I went running this weekend. It was a beautiful day, no disturbing construction or barking dogs to distract my thoughts. And then it hit me – something was missing. No longer was I attached to wheels. I was stroller-free. At first, the realization was joyous, knowing I could speed up, slow down or even do a little jig over an uneven piece of sidewalk. Then it hit me; I was crossing over. No, not into some other worldly dimension, but instead to that point, when no longer am I attached to a baby (pregnant or newborn).
While glorious in one aspect - to be free from worry about a crying infant that needs me at every moment, it also is extremely terrifying how fast life is speeding by and what my place is in this ginormous Universe. The babies are no longer babies, and I don’t know if I’m ready for the next step.
So, now what?
I remember something crucial I once learned. Acceptance is the answer. Whenever I want so badly to change the facts life has presented right in front of me, I need to remember I have a choice. I can accept things as they are, or I can forgo acceptance and fight whatever circumstance is presenting itself.
So much of life’s ills are exacerbated by our blocking the reality of what just is. The struggle comes when we want reality to be something it is not at the moment. We wish our family understood us. We wish our job was something we loved. We wish our kids would stay little. So much energy is wasted at the expense of trying to make something it isn’t. Yet, despite wanting different, we always have a choice.
Now, just because we accept it does not mean that we like it or that we still cannot alter the course. It simply means accepting reality, accepting life as it is given to us. We can then decide to make a change in our actions to lead to a different result. Or we can change our attitude toward whatever situation is causing so much pain, discomfort, or fear.
Struggling may be our known, but trying something different and releasing the struggle, sitting with the discomfort, pain or whatever feeling is brought on by the present circumstance, this is our way to freedom. Stopping the struggle and shifting our attitude allows us to acknowledge what actually is in front of us, and gives us the opportunity to see the whole picture. It releases the tunnel vision narrowing our expectations to only what we know, and broadens to the limitless possibilities available.
This is the way to move forward. We keep in mind that whatever opportunities are on the horizon, only can come if we step through, accepting this step as the necessary piece to move forward on our journey, even if the next part of the journey requires no stroller.