During my daughter’s preschool and early elementary days, when daily cries of ‘that’s unfair’ and ‘Johnny got more’ were prevalent among her classmates, she learned an expression from her teacher that has always stuck with her: “You get what you get and you don’t get upset.”
Lately that expression has been on my mind.
How often have you prayed to your God, the Universe, or simply reflected in your mind on something you really, truly wanted with all of your heart? Perhaps your desire was centered around a thing, perhaps a relationship, or maybe even a job. In that that desire, you sought fulfillment – a quench of insatiable want, need, or drive for meaning and purpose.
Sometimes in all of our wishing and hoping, begging and pleading, our earnest prayers go unanswered. We feel angry or disappointed, and in that disappointment, righteous indignation overcomes us and we cry out “unfair!” (though we often later discover that these unanswered prayers were really secret blessings). Perhaps we adhere rigidly to a plan, resisting conflicting realities, only to later feel betrayed by our own choices. At other times, our prayers are answered or wishes granted, though what we thought we were getting turns out to be something different from what we imagined altogether.
So often our desires are focused on form, not function; on function, but not purpose. So often our responses are rooted in ego, not heart; or in fear, not love.
Acceptance does not mean settling for less or staying stuck. It is does not suggest passive dependency, but an active way of seeing and being. Often an agent of change – acceptance is opening our eyes to what is, that we might see where we are to go from here. It is recognizing that the gift of a given moment or opportunity, often lies in the lessons it has to teach us. At its core, acceptance is about the state of our own mind and heart; finding centered peace in the present, that we might reclaim lost joy.
I’m curious: How often have you missed the magic of the moment, because you were too busy fighting it on your way to someplace else? How often has a clouded vision of your present, prevented you from learning vital lessons and navigating next steps? How often has stubborn resistance of what is robbed you of the gifts of time, peace and simple joy?