Thursday, August 19, 2010

Magical Thinking

Magic Flute

“Some people confuse acceptance with apathy, but there's all the difference in the world. Apathy fails to distinguish between what can and what cannot be helped; acceptance makes that distinction. Apathy paralyzes the will-to-action; acceptance frees it by relieving it of impossible burdens.” Arthur Gordon

I was told that acceptance was the answer to all my problems. To not accept things as they are means to continually waste energy fighting against what cannot be changed. And only through accepting things as they are can we objectively make decisions about what can be changed and what cannot. And what we can do to help ourselves make it through difficult times. This theme keeps reoccurring in my life.

In my youth I took the est training, "the technology of transformation," to transform my life. (Note: Est has now transformed to The Forum.) One of basic premises of est was to tell the truth about something and it would cease to have a hold on you. Getting to the truth of a matter can be as difficult as acceptance. And at times both concepts seem as magical as circling a tree counter clockwise three time in the light of the full moon. But then I believe in magic.

Yesterday I made a list of the trials and tribulations of my life of late. Lists, to my way of thinking, are telling the truth (not that you cannot lie in them), and a path to acceptance. And in the way of magic a means to have the items on the list vanish. Well, maybe not go poof, but get better. Take vehicles. I talked to the mechanic. Mine will be ready to pick up today. It has taken so long not because of increased problems with the van but with other cars that had to be handled before he got mine back together. And my sister's Jeep is doing well.

On the Housing Authority issue I received a check yesterday. Okay 18 days late but it arrived. And a form to have subsequent checks directly deposited.

Dying friends are still dying. And I still am grieving their loss as active participants in my life. But today that grief seems acceptable; a natural process, like death, we must all go through, and not so totally paralyzing. I was able to look rationally yesterday at living and all that includes (the infamous to do list) and communicating with friends. And this morning my cell phone actually has bars and not that "emergency only" message of the last couple weeks.

What little magic tricks work in your life?


  1. I visited a dear friend in hospital today, possibly because of widespread secondary cancer in his back bones.

    We ended up crying and laughing, talking and being silent, watching the rain falling outside of the window together and remembering good times in the past.

    He may die soon. He was grateful I visited, I will visit many times again until he is discharged (I hope!). He didn't thank me for going there to visit him, all he said was: "Of course I expected you to be here. I would have done the same for you. That's what friends are for. You are my friend..."

    And I was grateful for this acknowledgement as it is the noblest thing we can say to another human being: "You are my friend."

  2. Nicholas, I want to acknowledge your commitment to your friend. And your friend's awareness of you and where he is at.

    Sadly, Marc, is delusional and knows not who is there or not there let alone able to acknowledge the path we have traveled together.

    And my friend, Libby, is sure that Jesus is healing her and does not acknowledge death at her door. She flew to California to find a doctor that will tell her of this miracle instead of continuing to give her "horrid news."

    Sometimes the peace we must make with the dying can only be done within ourselves.

  3. There's a new expression doing the rounds which I first heard from my son: "it is what it is". Took me a while to get my head around that one but it's just that 'it is what it is'.

    We all know that 'the truth shall set you free' and I believe that.

    Acceptance is not a sign of weakness at all. Nor is it a sign of resignation. Acceptance is being realistic and dealing with whatever it is one has to deal with in whatever way works for you.
    Burying one's head in the sand does not work.

    Nicholas you are a giant and a true friend. Your friend knows that.

    Jacqui, your friend as we all know is in denial. Someone needs to counsel her but the sad fact is that they can't until she's ready to hear it.


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