“Inside yourself or outside, you never have to change what you see, only the way you see it…”
We live in a world of opposites: good/bad, happy/sad, day/night, up/down, left/right. Carl G. Jung speaks about maturity being born out of the ability to endure the tension of these opposites. As I have aged, I have settled into an acceptance of this truth. Our ability to shift between extremes must be developed to manage skillfully this terrain of the truth. In the face of bad luck or adversity I strive to see any hidden potential for good that may lie within.
Have you ever felt trapped by events allowing you no way out? We may feel this when we are on the cusp of something new or are moving from one stage in life to another. I have often found that even when good things happen to someone, their next thought may be one of doubt or uncertainty, as if matters should not be as they are. I notice in both others and myself this human tendency to resist change, whether it is bad or good.
It is our attitude toward these episodes that makes all the difference. I use the image of two wings to work with this: one wing holds what is true, just as it is; the other wing, compassion and acceptance for this truth, regardless of what it may be. Working with this image allows me to grapple with my feelings so as to move towards understanding. Can a bird fly with only one wing? No. Both wings, interconnected, allow space for this tension of opposites to be held, endured and brought to resolution.
Can you sit for a moment and just be? Can you focus on what is without wanting to change it? Can you say yes to what is here right now, regardless of your desires? This practice of accepting truth, regardless of the situation, holds the potential for freedom and liberation.
Take a moment to sit with something with which you may be struggling. Breathe in, still your mind the best you can, focus on your chest rising and falling. Accept the present just how it is, nothing more, nothing less. Visualize these two interconnected wings. What is the truth of the situation right now? Name it, say it to yourself. Then feel the other wing, the one of compassion and humility. See if you can feel acceptance for just what is without judgment, blame for your perceived shortcomings or engagement of the inner critic.
I have found that with a little practice, acceptance may be found when slowing down long enough to reconnect with ourselves. Fly with the wings of truth and compassion to discover the gratitude and grace born from this acceptance of the moment. As a Spanish proverb so wisely puts it, “Dance to the tune that is played.”