Monday, June 5, 2017

Resiliency: accepting what is: what cannot be changed

I believe with all my heart in the power of affirmations.

I use them every morning to start my day with something uplifting. They raise my vibration and give me focus and vision.

Positive affirmations can change the way you feel and the way you respond. They create new neural pathways in the brain. And they are powerful senders of energy that is reflected back by the response of the Universe. When we say “yes”, the Universe says “Yes.”

There are plenty of articles and books about the power of positive affirmation. You can watch Abraham and Ester Hicks discuss it on youtube. Unity became a movement due to the power of Myrtle Fillmore healing herself through prayer and meditation. Writers from Wayne Dwyer to Eckert Tolle discuss the unlimited power of thought.

I believe gratitude is one of the most powerful affirmations of all.

However, I also need to practice acceptance: the things that cannot be changed.

While I was in Puerto Vallarta, I created a bilingual poetry event during Día de los Muertos. I appreciate how the Mexicans honor their ancestors during this celebration. They build ofrendas in their homes filled with the favorite foods for when the dead come by. They clean and decorate the graves of their loved ones in the cemeteries and spend time together at the gravesite, telling family stories. They also have ways to poke fun at death to remove the sting. Everywhere you see calacas and calaveras, miniature sugar skulls and skeleton figurines from every walk of life: the mariachi band to the soap opera star, the barber to the teacher, the bus driver to the bride. They remind us that death comes for all of us, none of us are getting out alive.  The Mexicans call death La Muerte, and La Catrina and La Sebastiana.  I found a poem by E. R. Mares which listed Spanish names with meanings such as The Stinky One, The Bony One, the Hag, the Bitch, etc. The poem is essentially about near-misses, how the poet had close calls but survived. My co-performer and I were calling these names in Spanish to each other across the stage, almost as if taunting Death or enticing Her near. 

Suddenly I had a revelation that Death is part of the natural cycle of life, death and rebirth.

I had placed a candle on each table and at a certain point, asked audience members to light their candles and hold them aloft in honor of someone they had lost. As I looked out over the sea of flames, I realized that we have all lost someone…or will lose someone…or we will die. I was not alone in my grief. 

My son was not coming back. This was the beginning of acceptance. This was a turning point.

There are things in life that will never change, no matter how many affirmations we say. The only thing that can change is our attitude. I will never have the same flexibility I had before hip replacements. . I will never be a professional dancer, for example (but I still can dance.)  Some of us have lost people or relationships or ways of living. Some of us have lost homes, cities, or freedom. Some of us have lost dreams that won’t come true.

Acceptance is letting go and moving on. I will never stop loving Sam but I had to accept his death. This is part of my healing.

What things do you need to accept? 

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