Lately I have been wrestling with accepting things as they are. Not as I think they ought to be. Or how I think they might have been if I made a certain decision in an alternative universe. But rather as they as…at face value. The notion of accepting what is came to me when I was delving deeply into the term ‘Wabi Sabi.’ To fully translate this Japanese term and all it embodies into English is challenging. Simply put, it is the “the appreciation of the transient beauty of things imperfect, impermanent and incomplete in the physical world.”
While that sounds ideal and something some of us would like to do more of, ride the wave and not push the ocean, it is very hard to put into practice. It requires sitting still in the discomfort of a bad day or discovering peace during a difficult moment. One does not dismiss their feelings when accepting what is, that is actually contrary to the entire process.
I have been faced with how much of my human experience is made up of me trying to get out of discomfort and sadness. How much I lust for an eternal happy outlook on life. But is that actually healthy? Perhaps sadness, gloom, grief, longing, and pain can also make life colorful? The times I’ve experienced those “darker” emotions have contributed to my growth as a person and have strengthened my faith in God.
If there is anything 2020 can teach us is that life is complex, random, and entirely out of our hands. I think it takes much more mental effort to constantly fight against what is. On the other hand, accepting what is can take a toll on your heart, but only temporarily until we learn how to be content in what we have (although contentment ≠ complacency).
“Accept the way God does things, for who can straighten what he has made crooked?.“
(Ecclesiastes 7:13 NLT)