I visualize things when I want to really drive home a point to myself or others. When I think about what it looks like to surrender and accept a situation, I imagine my hands as they are open and lifted. Sometimes I imagine them outside a car window being pried open against the force of the wind or riding the wave of air that’s rolling by. Occasionally, I repeat these visualizations in physical form. I wish I could say that my hands are open more often. They are not. Blessed? Yes. Hopeful? Sure. Thankful? Most days. Accepting? Now, wait just a darn minute.
When I was asked recently about my putting some pretty adventurous things on my bucket list, I replied that the sky is the limit to my daring desires because I no longer fear what happens to me. Anxiety is no longer pulsing through me. How wonderful this is in some ways, considering for years I was plagued with managing this monster within me. How did I slay this dragon? I think I finally figured out that when I thought I was living “the dream,” I did not believe I really deserved it. Some people get the perfect package of the perfect church, the spouse, the healthy kids, the dream job, the wonderful friends – all in perfect bowed-up box …… but not me. I could not accept such a life. So, I spent time fearing that something was bound to happen…with hands closed into a tight fist, because I could not handle having it all.
Of course, something did happen. Just as something happens to all of us at one time or another, that white and black idea of a dream is crushed, and we are forced to live in the grayness of “what is.” This life of mine will not include living out my childhood dream. I cannot have what I want most in this world. Join the crowd, right? How we all handle tragedy is often times what shows the outside world and ourselves what really makes us tick. So, now I start living for the next best thing, making the most of what I do have.
Plan B can be wrought with it’s own crosses to bare, to be sure. As my mind wanders to those I know that have faced change and now walk on a new path, I ask myself what rings true for them? Surely there is a possibility of fear, sadness, resentment and anger. They, like me, may not want to always accept their life as it unfolds before them. However, what stands out to me is who they have become – strong, connected, humble, and loving. I may not always accept my path but I accept who I am…who I have become…who I will be…who I want to be for others. It is ironic that we sometimes curse the path that brings out our best. God’s plan is much bigger than our tunneled view and so today, like every day, I will open my hands again and say, “thank you …I accept.” One day, I may actually believe it.
“Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralyzed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings.” -Rumi