Water is the strongest thing, simply accepting that there are obstacles to flow around, granite cliffs to erode, raging fires to quench, and hurricanes to outlast. Water is nature’s easy example, a model of patient, fluid strength. The epitome of grace.
Hard things don’t last because they refuse to fit. Even diamonds dissolve in the sea (very beautifully I’m told). But water slides elegantly into whatever receptacle you present to it.
And so it is with our lives. It takes wisdom to truly accept what’s happening in your world. It’s difficult to know when to fight for change and when to open up and let things run their course. And the secret is that when you fully accept what is happening in this moment or chapter of your life, you also open the door to the next change, which might just be the one you seek.
Nothing stays unless you refuse it.
Do you remember as a child laying on your back in the grass on a warm summer day, watching puffs of bright white clouds sailing by overhead? Sometimes the clouds looked like animals. Some seemed friendly and others scary. The shapes would change as they chased each other across the sky. Our thoughts are a lot like that. Just knowing that they are temporary and subject to change, like everything else, is a big help.
It’s easy to accept sunny skies and birthday presents, and challenging to accept failures and disappointments. But you can’t have one side of life without the other. If the sky were sunny every day, would anyone ever notice? When you open up to difficult times, sit with your feelings, and search for the lesson in that experience, you tend the soil of your soul so the next flower can bloom.
Lao Tzu wrote:
As the soft yield of water cleaves obstinate stone, so to yield with life solves the insoluble. To yield, I have learned, is to come back again. But this unworded lesson, this easy example, is lost upon men.”
Acceptance is difficult too because it starts with the real you inside. It isn’t easy to
accept your authentic self. Just ask any teenager not on the A list. Being well balanced requires that we acknowledge our strengths and weaknesses, our mountains and fault lines. From self-knowledge, acceptance can grow. First, acceptance of ourselves and then acceptance of others. Without that acceptance of our own imperfections, we can’t truly accept imperfections in others. This is the heart where love can grow.
Sometimes we think we are apart from or above the natural world, but we are all part of the universal tapestry, connected in this one vast energy field. So after due time to reflect on a natural disaster (inside or out) and what it means, get back out there gracefully. Lift up a stranger with a smile. Then the next sunny day will come.