For what it is


In this part of the world, this is the time of year when we reap the benefits of the seeds we’ve sown earlier in the year. It’s time to harvest, and experience abundance.

Nature follows that rhythm, and because we’re nature, so do we. We plant seeds in the form of dreams and ideas, and as we hone that vision, we nurture them with hard work and optimism, making them bright, and resilient.

Usually, anyway, 

I mean…dreams, yes. Hard work, yes. But abundant harvest? Not always. To put it bluntly just like your mama used to: you don’t always get what you want.

One of life’s cruel truths, indeed. But if you stick around long enough, you start to realize that you DO always get what you need.

Do I mean all the money you need? All the cooperation from the people around you that you need? And I know you’re not getting all the sleep that you need, so I won’t even go there.

Nah, not exactly. You do always get the lessons and experiences you need to grow in the ways that will best serve you over time. The tough part about it is, that vision is usually only clear in retrospect. Oh yeah, that needed to happen, it needed to go that way, I wouldn’t have been better off where I thought I needed to be…

In the moment, though? Disappointment, frustration, anger, jealousy….you name the negative emotion, and it will likely appear. An abundance of a different kind, you could say.

There’s a concept in mindfulness called acceptance. It may sound familiar because I’ve written about it before. It derives from Buddhism, and even though I’m not Buddhist, we can explore it anyway. It means that you take a look at your circumstances exactly as they are, without engaging in the struggle of wishing things were different. It’s about letting go of your expectations, and coming to terms with reality.

Quick point of clarification, though. Acceptance is not about giving up, taking your hands off the wheel of your life, or deciding that you don’t have to try anymore. You can have intentions, goals, dreams and plans all day and all night if you want. The subtle difference here is that as actual events evolve, you stay connected to them and not your version of what should have been instead. Your next set of goals and plans should be based on where you’re actually starting from, not where you thought you’d be at this point.

Real world example for you. You’re at the airport and your flight is unexpectedly cancelled. You have two choices. You can whine and scream and get on social media and bash the airline until you’re blue in the face and your thumbs are sore, OR you can get on the phone or get in line to get yourself rebooked. Standing and screaming doesn’t get you rebooked. It may get you taken to the security office, though, and…that’s probably not your goal, or your ideal final destination.

This is the time of year when we harvest the seeds we’ve previously planted. You’ve done your best to nurture yours while they were underground, and slightly out of your control. You did your best, as we “type A” folks always do, but you can’t always control every outcome. Sometimes your dreams bloom wide open, and sometimes they come up short. Or, at least that what it looks like at first.

Maybe that little sprout is the beginning of something else. A different dream, one you didn’t really consider until it showed up.

It won’t look like that unless you’re looking at it like that, though. Accepting it for what it is, and giving it another chance to bloom, when it’s time.

“No mud, no lotus.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Photo credit: TJ Holowaychuk



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