Sunday, February 17, 2013

Let It Rain

Here is another great quote on acceptance. It never uses the word, but it sums it up, truthfully, in reality and metaphorically:

“For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain.”
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Which reminds me of the story of an old Jewish Rabbi. He was once asked what the secret of prayer was:
Easy. Don't pray for rain in the dry season.
Yet that is so often what we do in our lives. We wish and hope and pray for the rules of nature, the laws of the universe to be suspended for us. Too many of our prayers are for the supernatural act, the miracle beyond miracles. We forget that in most situations, we are to be involved. My favorite way of describing this attitude is:
If it is raining and you want to walk downtown, don't pray for God to make the rain stop for you. Yes, I believe that if God wanted to do so, the rain would s top. But most likely, God's response to your prayer will be:
Take your umbrella.
Acceptance! Just what it says. Start with the way things are. Accept it. That does not mean you condone it. Of course not. But you have to start with a good understanding of where the world around you is at the moment. You have to accept that this is the way it is. Here's another quote that leads that same direction:
Acceptance of one's life has nothing to do with resignation; it does not mean running away from the struggle. On the contrary, it means accepting it as it comes, with all the handicaps of heredity, of suffering, of psychological complexes and injustices.
--Paul Tournier
In the end no change can happen until acceptance of the starting point is achieved. Why, why spend, expend and waste all that energy on fighting things that can't be changed? Why get in the attitude of non-acceptance of what is reality? So much can be done if we just would move beyond that and do what can be done.

Does that mean that if I have some problem that I can't change that I need to give up? No. Many people overcome handicaps to do remarkable and miraculous things. But they had to start with the understanding of their present situation- and then see how to work around, through, or in spite of these differences. Para-Olympic athletes, Beethoven writing symphonies after he has gone deaf. Helen Keller. They all accepted their starting point, but didn't let it end there.

Is that acceptance? Sure it is. Again, it is not giving up, giving in, or rolling over and playing dead.

It is the essence of life coming alive.

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