I noticed something new in my spirit today.
I have longed for contentment during most of my life. Quietness, satisfaction of spirit and soul always seemed just around the corner – and just out of reach. Sometimes my fingers rested on it, but it was elusive and easily slipped away. It seems there was always a whispering that kept the contentment at bay.
But this morning as I began to write after the long holiday break – my first thoughts were of acceptance. It was a new feeling – and it caught me by surprise. And it is a wonderful sensation.
My life is far from perfect – and a distance from where I have set my goals. I am on the upward climb from a valley of challenges, failures, setbacks and fear. There has been gain, but there has been the reality of loss.
And yet I am at peace. I have a deep encompassing acceptance of where I am in this moment. It is not a “woohoo”, “life is a party” kind of happy feeling. But it is SO good – and something I have been longing to feel.
It comes from a place of accepting that I will make mistakes today – I will say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing and neglect something today. I am accepting the fact that even when I have everything lined up perfectly – life has lessons waiting for me to learn. My lessons usually come through difficulty and challenges. The combination of my striving and not accepting what life brings my way causes pain.
How do I react when faced with an obstacle? I have often misunderstood the challenge and decided that God was against me. My reactions turned me toward pain instead of facing an opportunity to grow.
Maybe that is what I am feeling today. I am facing a couple of significant problems that appear to be blocking my path. That is nothing new. But something is different – I am at peace. I know there is a solution, if I quiet my heart long enough to hear the answer. The outcome may not be what I desire in this moment – but there may be a treasure waiting for me if I accept an alternate outcome. I am able to sit with disappointment for a time, and then say “ God – I want YOUR best for my life, not what I think is best. So – I release the outcome to YOU.”
Several years ago, I listened to someone comparing life to a river. It was about choosing to move with a current instead of trying to paddle upstream. I would visualize myself floating down a river – arms outstretched, letting the water carry me – relaxed with the journey. It took a lot of intention and focus to stop “paddling” and let the river carry me – even in my imagination!
So today, I am fascinated by this new sensation. It feels good to “flow” with the current in my life – to accept each day for what it is, to be challenged, and find growth. To move towards my dreams and goals, using my paddle to steer instead of frantically, frenetically fighting the current.
This is more than contentment, definitely not passivity. It is an action, a choice, a step – acceptance is movement. It is letting go of pain and resistance. It is appreciating the value of ALL things that I face today. In this moment – it feels divine!
By the way – I took this picture of my nearby river on our cold, frosty Christmas Day. There was magic by the river that afternoon. I think that is what life is like … magical – when I accept what the day has to offer!