Accept, and let go

Why be unhappy about something

If it can be remedied?

And what is the use of being unhappy about something

If it cannot be remedied?

Shantideva

Accept, and let go.

I’ve been practicing this mantra of “accept and let go” that came to me out of necessity or at least circumstance last year. My father decided that his time had come, so he ceased dialysis and passed away peacefully in January 2018. My husband learned he had stage IV cancer and he departed the earth two months later, in March 2018. The dates are immaterial in the grand scheme of things, but precisely consequential to my experiencing great loss in a short period of time.

Death is a kind of loss that is more permanent and jarring than most other losses. We lose things in our lives all the time, from sweatshirts and sunglasses to jobs and relationships. Losing a human being to death, though, is irreversible and it completely removes that individual from the fabric of daily reality. (Even if you believe in ghosts/spirits, they are not the living person. I suppose that a celebrity whose image is captured and expanded, such as for example Robin Williams, doesn’t depart in the same way that your average person does. But my losses were average people…I have dreadfully little record of them, almost no video.) They aren’t here any more, period.

Accept, and let go.

The stages of grief are well known, and acceptance is the last of them. I felt and worked through shock and numbness, depression, anger, as well as denial and isolation. Each of those emotions or states still occasionally arises. Each of those feelings generates a reaction, most problematic. Thusly I believe that it’s the letting go that is most important alongside the acceptance. I must accept that this loss has happened, and let go of minding what happened, of wishing it were other. I must let go of a sense of injustice or wrongness as I accept the reality of what is.

Accept, and let go.

Every day — at least! — the universe gives us a chance to practice this awareness and flow. I’m learning to play the drums, and it is tremendously exciting and confounding at the same time. To date in my life, I’ve not done much music-making and my limbs barely conform even as my ears are still learning to hear and contribute ideas to my body. Yet, it’s a joyful practice to swing and make sounds. The beats are not always on, but I accept what’s done and let go and move into the next moment. They roll, we roll, and all there can be is acceptance and release, hearing and letting go. I have hardly ever jammed with other people, which, it turns out, leads to a whole ‘nother level of needing to accept, and let go. Sometimes I stop and shake my head at myself and occasionally I will laugh, but I am learning to simply…keep going. So it is. So it goes. Keep going.

Accept, and let go.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.