Transition to Acceptance

The sky is turning bright pink in the east. Earlier, it was orange and the trees against the horizon looked black, as if they were shadows.

The day broke in beautiful form. But then I made the mistake of opening a news website. I’m an idiot. A quick glance at the headlines distracted me from the orange horizon and the intermittent thin ribbons of dark grey clouds. Rage erupted in me like a geyser, or a volcano, prompting me to write a lengthy diatribe describing the people who are, at the moment, afflicting the aggrieved. We, the people are the aggrieved. I wrote a rather lengthy post in which I explained that I had modified an adjective into a noun and I called for some rather harsh treatments of the aggrievers.

But then I stopped. What good could it possibly do? So I returned to the sky. The now pink sky. The sky whose orange brilliance was visible, I’m sure, while I was writing about the ill-will I wished would befall certain people. Now, though, I am satisfied that a record of my thoughts exists. It’s not in a public place, but it’s in  a place readily available to me if ever I feel a need to ratchet up my blood pressure and cause every muscle in my body to get tense and ready for a fierce struggle. I would rather not feel that need.

Now I don’t need to ready myself for battle; neither verbal nor physical engagement. Now, I feel a desire (maybe a need, but I can’t differentiate between the two at this moment) to soften and to erase every hint of stress from my mind and my body. I want to be in love with the world again. I need to embrace and be embraced. I want to appreciate the horizon, morphing from pink to tan, fading into beige.

I want to erase “want” and replace it with “accept.” That’s it; I accept the beauty, even the hideous beauty, of the world around me. There is no ugliness; there is only another form of beauty, a natural mirror image of the perfection we see, tinted with imperfection and stunning brokenness. The Japanese aesthetic of wabi sabi is a world view in which imperfection and transience are valued and considered beautiful. That’s the world view I readily accept as a replacement for the one that once occupied my mind. Easier said than done, of course.

There’s an inexplicable beauty in accepting everything in our paths and in our lines of sight. Not only accepting, but embracing and appreciating even the broken pieces of life and humanity. If I could feel that sense of acceptance and appreciation all the time, I would be more content with who I am. I could accept even the unlovable pieces of myself while trying to replace them with aspects worthy of love. That is, perhaps, the hardest part of acceptance; giving up the war against aspects of oneself that are unlovable.

I find fault with too many things and too many circumstances. Rather than complain, the best response to displeasure is to seek the lessons from experience. What will it teach me, if only I am willing to listen and contemplate? I do contemplate well, I think, if I give myself a nudge in that direction. Sometimes, though, I react instead of allowing my contemplative self to emerge from the wreckage of an unpleasant experience.

Goddamn it! Almost imperceptibly, I slipped from acceptance to fault-finding. And then to anger about it. This transition will be harder than I thought; it has always been harder than I thought.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
This entry was posted in Acceptance, Anger, Self-discipline, Serenity, Wabi sabi. Bookmark the permalink.

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