They say, as years go by, you get used to pain. When life slaps you in the face, you are not so sensitive like before. But as I grow older, every slap is more painful, more intense, and I frantically catch for every recovery like a drowning man to raft after endless hours of floating. As if the resistance weakens me and the soul wants to say:
Hey, life, it’s ok, I understand, just ease up a little.
While you are young, you are unaware of all the things life can do, even when they’d drained you, your pride never allowed you to break, your firm hope that life is more than two courses of sorrow and one of happiness.
While you are young you think: When I grow up, I’ll be wiser, more attentive. I’m not some weakling who gives up at first obstacles. And you are not. And yes, you are doing it better – that is why it hurts more. Because no matter what abilities you attain, life is still life. It still hurts. It still serves you meals that you don’t like the most, and you wish you could avoid them. But things don’t work like that; without pain, there is no progress, no growth. It’s a cliché, but it’s true.
I remember the time when I was a kid. I remember my thoughts, that child’s attitude towards life, the belief in the magic of existence, the feeling of excitement – because when I grow up, I can be and do whatever I want, the world waits for me. That feeling was present even when I was unhappy and sad because I believed genuinely in the magic of life and a few unfortunate events did not have the power to overshadow my belief.
And when we were hurt, we dramatised, we saw the end of the world because of the failure in a tiny piece of the same. Still, we got up to our feet, shook our bloody knees, wiped our runny nose, and with high-lifted head went further. Stubbornly. Proudly. Full of life.
Do you still remember that feeling? That young heart, deprived of reservations that we as adults put around us every time we feel a bitter pain of disappointment? I do. But I also remember when I started to believe that world doesn’t work the way I’d pictured it in my mind. That there is no difference between my life and any other; We are all in the same gutter, some of us are just better actors than the others. I also remember when I locked my young heart and told it to be silent because the world is no place for it, but for someone much more cautious, someone filled with suspicion, scepticism, limitations, distrust, resistance… for someone called an adult. For someone who, while life strikes her, stays firmly on her feet with dignified posture and tear in the eye that slides on the pillow in a silent night without a witness and withholds all blind expectations…
When I ask them, most people say that life is a fight. I nod approvingly remembering my own fight gloves, which, instead of sleeping somewhere in the dark corner, were right on my hands. Hit back. Do not give up, fight! But then I grow sad.
Because if it’s all about the fighting, if our every muscle is in spasm, tense, ready to hit, when do we really live? In a short sigh between two attacks?
It’s like we lost the point and no, I don’t think we should be like kids again. Not completely. Just find that goddamn balance, accept life as it is, its ups and downs, not to attach to the outcome.
What if we choose to try something different? How would it be if we ceased to provide resistance to our thoughts and to things that happen to us in life? If we decide to replace fighting with acceptance? Put this state of mind high on our priority list?
Why is it that fight is considered to be a feature of a strong person, and acceptance is attributed to a weak person when what we accept disappears much faster and painlessly than the fighting attitude we are so proud of?
Perhaps because we associate acceptance with doing or not doing. Accepting something does not mean to give up, stop working on something we want.
I recently read a beautiful sentence about it: Acceptance is the state of mind, not the termination of any effort.
Accept your life as it is. Even if you are not satisfied with it at this time, it is your reality. You must first accept it precisely in the form in which it exists and then work on all those parts you wish to change. Accept all your sadness and suffering, as well as all your joys and happiness. Don’t resist, don’t contradict, because your resistance in the case of suffering prolongs your sorrow, and attachment in case of joy creates new pain when happiness temporarily abandons you. And what are you then but someone who does not live? Who is unhappy because it’s in constant conflict with what the universe has made to fit us so naturally?
Remove your boxing gloves. Remove childish, naive belief that there is a perfect life waiting for you with wide arms while your actions come down to your fantasies only.
Accept. Take action. Grow. Live.