I have acceptance and gratitude for what is.
October is thought of as the month of gratitude in many circles. I will put a spin on the platitude ‘let’s all find gratitude for our abundant lives’. If you are reading this blog and life is moving along swimmingly, it might be easier to be grateful. However, when life puts us through the ringer and tests us, gratitude may elude us. This blog is dedicated to those of you who are being tested by life at this moment.
While it can be hard to find gratitude during challenging times, gratitude is a matter of perception. For example, when we feel annoyed because somebody is late, we can find gratitude for the opportunity to practice patience. When we find gratitude and accept things as they are, the labels and stories we tell ourselves about our life melt away and everything just is; and there is room to be grateful for all of it.
I have a dear friend who is very sick. I accompanied her for the full prognosis: terminal cancer. This is not news anybody wants to hear. I, and all who love her, were gutted. I was astonished by her grace and acceptance of this fate. No anger, no pity party. Just resolve to get her bucket list dealt with and to spend time with loved ones. As I was driving home overwhelmed by the whole thing, feeling very sad, scared, uncomfortable and bewildered, it dawned on me that the path of grace is acceptance.
I don’t have to like it, or make sense of it; I just have to accept it. The Universe is offering me an opportunity to learn how to love even deeper, and to truly embrace this human experience, as messy as it can sometimes be. I don’t know what the coming months will look like, but I have resolved to accept all of it, even if others can’t. My friend is here now, and for that I am grateful.
When we give ourselves permission to accept the unpleasant aspects of life, we are empowered. Without acceptance, there is no gratitude, and without gratitude we rob ourselves of true human connection. Acceptance combined with gratitude gives us the strength to show up for ourselves, and to be fully present with what is.
By Nicole Whitman.