Learning To Accept Sorrow | Spiritual Direction - The Work, J.R. Mahon
12 years ago my three kids came preloaded with “stuff.” When you adopt out of foster care, problems are par for the course. Not that any one kid is perfect, except yours of course. You just don't know what abuse or attachment issues will surface until time has its way. In our case it's been a rainbow of psychological, physical and emotional traumas that unwind whenever they choose. None are pretty, none are very forgiving and none have a shelf life. It is what it is and getting “tired” isn’t an option... either is giving up. It may be my ego or complete lack of it but at this point I need you to know, I’m not bitching! After 12 years with my kids I am still learning to sorrowfully accept our fate. Yes, fate! Abuse and the prewire of in-utero bullshit looks like the development of things beyond personal control even at the highest levels of consciousness. Some stuff, ain't changing. The moment is all you have for what the future is and can be. Read that again… it's important. You’d think after a dozen years I would have put some mature miles on this but I’m afraid it's harder than it looks, for me anyhow. Accepting things on the surface can be super easy but you want great things for your kids, you want them to win, succeed and journey far but “problems” stifle that reality, they push everyone into deep sorrow, the kind you simply don't want to accept, the kind that seem unfair or as if the universe is kicking your ass… it can leave you fighting against acceptance and just plain tired.
“How about learning to accept the sorrow of what is?” My spiritual director says, as I’m on the phone with her yesterday. I can tell she's smiling as she says it. Smiling! It makes me love and hate her. I am quiet as I listen… it sits with me, her words, her calmness, her willingness to love me even when she knows it hurts like hell and I want something else. She is teaching me to slow my mind… receive God’s, love myself, love my kids, love their problems, love the present... love so deep it washes away predisposition. Washes away any egoic notion that we must look, act and feel anything other than what we are, even if at times it produces sorrow. I hang up the phone and am drawn into one thought, acceptance of the sorrow is freedom. It feels undefended, with nothing to prove and nothing to lose. A free fall away from heavy emotions bond to metrics of personal, tribal or societal success. This thought gives me room to breathe, rest and stay squarely in the moment willing to love but fuck is it hard to live there day to day with the problems we all face. It’s a daily struggle tied to prayer, contemplation, great accountability and you. Sorrow must have its acceptance through love. No great conclusion, sorrow is hard.
Tomorrow, the joy of adoption for those freaking out about the sorrow.
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