Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Accepting Life As It Happens

Life has been challenging lately.

I usually embrace challenge and see it as opportunity. However, lately I have felt overwhelmed by the life this past year has brought to me and am eager to get past it and move ahead.

On 07 July, I wrote about "this too shall pass" and on 14 August I wrote about my goldfish pond and the cycle of life that it recalls me to when I feel sad or alone. I look at the pond and I know that when winter comes, the fish will hibernate beneath the cold ice above - just to return to life come Springtime.

Today, when the pond was approached for quiet reflection, it was discovered that the dozens of fish that lived there had died.

My immediate thought was how to see this as an opportunity, but that didn't take hold. I could only think "what more can happen?". I admit that I feared the answer to that and while I wished that this year would just end already, I was afraid of jumping to the future in haste and not appreciating what is here and now, no matter the situation.

We all go through times when we wish we could press a fast-forward button and propel ourselves into the future and out of our current circumstances. Whether the situation we are facing is minor, or major such as losing a loved one, it is human nature to want to move away from pain and find comfort as soon as possible. However, we know deep down that we need to work through these experiences in a conscious fashion rather than bury our heads in the sand, because these are the times when we access important information about ourselves and life.

The learning process may not be easy, but it is full of lessons that bring us wisdom we cannot find any other way.

The desire to fast-forward can lead to escapism and denial, both of which only prolong our difficulties and in some cases make them worse. The more direct, clear, and courageous we are in the face of whatever we are dealing with, the more quickly we will move through the situation.

Understanding this, we may begin to realize that trying to find the fast-forward button is really more akin to pressing pause. When we truly grasp that the only way out of any situation in which we find ourselves is to go through it, we stop looking for ways to escape and we start paying close attention to what is happening.

We realize that we are exactly where we need to be. We remember that we are in this situation in order to learn something we need to know, and we can alleviate some of our pain with the awareness that there is a purpose to our suffering.

When we feel the urge to press the fast-forward button, we need to remember that we are not alone; we all instinctively avoid pain. But in doing so, we often prolong our pain and delay important learning and healing.

As we choose to move forward in real time and accept what life holds for us, we know that in the long run, this is the least painful way to go.

With love & light,


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