Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Acceptance Speech

I continue to struggle, as I'm sure most of us do. Life will throw you curve balls, water balloons, and for a loop. It's the scariest roller coaster ride that I've ever been on, that's for sure. Change is inevitable, but self-change is a big friggin' wrestling match. If I was who I set out to be, I would be living the quiet life, in a log cabin amidst that wilderness north of here. But I have continued to trod the path that I've always been on.

Each month at the bookstore, where I'm employed, I have to choose a pick that will be my featured staff pick. For the month of October, I chose Bug in a Vacuum by Mélanie Watt. An errant house fly gets inadvertently sucked into the vacuum cleaner. It's a scary and strange place. The fly goes through the five stages of grief -- denial, bargaining, anger, despair and eventually acceptance. Most of the time I am still in the anger stage. I would love to leap over despair and go directly to acceptance, but there is no wavering from my path.

As I've gotten older...and older, I've begun to realize that many of my dreams and desires -- those innocent childhood fantasies -- are going to end up in the dustbin of time, unfilled. Ever since I was sixteen, I've wanted to live rustically in Alaska, but apparently I only had the motivation to get as far as Seattle. Seattle has been good to me though. My past in Massachusetts still seems feel the dark chapters in my life. 

I often wonder if acceptance and surrender are the same things, because I feel ready to wave the white flag. No checkered flag for me! Just let me take my pit stop, and practice some mindfulness, because this society is making me ill. I have to constantly remind myself that moral values exist only in the meager minds of humans. Outside of our delusions, there is no right or wrong, or pressure to succeed. We create our own mental prisons.

I want to be a happy animal, who is satisfied with the necessities in life, like food, water and shelter. Love is also a great necessity, but it's not free for the taking. Love is a struggle. Love is acceptance. Love is letting go, and seeing where this river takes me. I need more joy, or rather I need to feel the joy that is already available to me.

So, to quote something Willa from Cafe Vios said to me recently, "We're all just a bug in a vacuum." I often still find myself flying blindly into the limits of the vacuum bag, figuring that I can find a way out, rather than than accepting my lot in life, and learning to enjoy the little things. The way will open itself up to me eventually without any help from GPS, thank you very much. 

An illustration from Bug in a Vacuum by Mélanie Watt

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