|"There is no formula for success except an unconditional acceptance of life, and what it brings." Arthur Rubinstein
I have found that peace comes only by acceptance of my past and by embracing the person whom I am today. Our philosophy of life changes through the years. It changes as we acquire or lose something or gain something. It becomes very different at 75 than it was at 25 or even 50. Our life experiences make us different in various ways.
Throughout adulthood, experiences, success and failure come the way of every human being. Those experiences can cause us to carry within us the physical and emotional pain, the words that hurt our sense of who we are, the situations where someone damaged our very soul. Fortunately, we also carry the good things that gave us happiness, peace, awareness.
Every event has a different impact depending on the time, the place and the participants. When the participants include children, the way every happening is perceived is far different than when the person is a callous or criminal adult. If an adult has sexually abused our body or caused us fear, we may survive but we are no longer whole. When a parent is drunk and hurts the other parent, our siblings and us, a part of us is damaged. Our heart, our soul, our sense of who we are, can never be the same.
As a child, every possession has equal value as a treasure to hold to whether the love of a parent or that special gift we got for Christmas. As a parent, the only possession of value is a beloved child. In the December years, life itself holds the greatest value because we are fully aware that we have fewer years to live than we have lived.
Now in my November years, I see all things differently. I remember so many of the hurtful incidents of my childhood including sexual abuse at age ten and the anger of my father when he came home "mean drunk". I remember the pressures of each day during the years in a troubling marriage and being almost killed. I remember the difficulties as a single parent trying to do alone, all that I could for my children. I remember abuse by unkind supervisors and gossiping co-workers.
November is a month for giving thanks and I am finding that is what I am doing in my seventies. I have learned to be thankful for and to unconditionally accept my life, with all its bruises, its successes, its failures. No longer do I try to second-guess the decisions that I made or whether they turned out to be the best or the worst. I accept them for what they are. They are my life.
I have learned through special counseling to acknowledge the abuse against the child and adult I was. And, with the healing, I have accepted unconditionally, all that has been my life. That acceptance has allowed me to find what I have learned with every experience, good or bad. I am who my life experiences have made me. That does not mean that I have no sorrows or regrets; only that I accept those as a natural part of my life.
Now, I know peace.
Your Title: Perfect.
What I liked best: "I have found that peace comes only by acceptance. Now, I know peace." The sweetest of balms is held within the wisdom of these few words.
What your essay spoke to me: As I began reading and journeyed through out there was such a "peace" that overtook me. A very gentle realization that herein lies a nugget of truth for one who looks. Written as if two sat quietly sharing a moment over a cup of coffee on a sunny morning, birds heard afar off chirping happily. You shared your wisdom in a way that only one trusted and respected can do with that special friend. To me this is what you have brought through your essay. I found no area that I would change or possibly even improve upon. I loved your referencing of ageing to the months of the year. It paints a very real and understandable picture.
In closing, thank you again for this opportunity to experience your writing, your style and your insight. Please continue to write and share here at WDC and know into each heart joy does come... the surprise at times is finding out we were the cause!
One reader wrote in her review: "Patterson,the sage with words to comfort me." That is why I write.