SERENITY & RADICAL ACCEPTANCE — Lessons from the Winter of 2014

The most precious words of wisdom, the Serenity Prayer guides me to find peace amidst the chaos and angst of my life by abandoning the insistence that I should or even could control the world around me.

This acceptance of what I “cannot change” brings me fully to the Winter of 2014.  As I sit before my laptop and gaze upon the white silence that surrounds me I am brought humbly to that radical acceptance of that reality.  Of course I have done what I can to anticipate what might occur.  I have attempted to weigh and measure the possibilities of moving forward in my professional and personal life.  And yet there remains a great unknown of which I have no power to control. The first one or two snow storms were “interesting” distractions.  Then I became deeply annoyed at the inconvenience and chaos that has resulted.  Now I have “given up”.  I have no choice.

There is a sense of peace that follows this acceptance.  It is an awareness that I are not an entirely passive being who is tossed by the winds of chance and do nothing to assert my will when necessary.  That is a given.  But when my feeble attempts reach an impenetrable resistance, it is time to let go. 

It is true of much of what becomes conflict and stress in my life.  I suffer because I become attached to disappointments, frustrations, failures which cannot be remediated.  Healing then becomes a self-directed action. I  will not be healed until I accept what cannot be changed.  To re-play the past, to flagellate myself over missed opportunities, comments I should have made, actions I didn’t perform only leads to suffering in the present moment.  Imperfection is natural.  The desire to overcome imperfection is natural as well.  Learning from past errors is the reason to remember them.  The ability to release the emotional baggage of past mistakes is the lesson of radical acceptance.  Optimism for the future necessitates releasing fear over what might happen.  Being in the moment is possible when my homework is done and I have done the best I can to learn from the past and plan for the future. 

Then I let it go and watch the white. 

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