I forgot to tell you that last week I received an email from someone with whom I went to high school. He wrote that plans are now being mapped-out for our high school reunion next summer.
And just which high school reunion is it, you ask? Just how many years will I have been out of high school as of next June?
It will be our 30th high school reunion.
No, it simply cannot have been so long ago that I was an optimistic-eyed teenager who felt ready to change the whole world upon her release from the walls of high school!
But yes, it was that long ago. Thirty years as of next June. And I cannot tell you just how old that email made me feel. Downright old as dirt. And fossils. And Adam and Eve.
But you know? Sometimes you have to just accept that things are the way they are. It's when we refuse to accept some things that we can go a little crazy. Or a lot crazy. Or dare I say to the very borders of insanity?
Like when you cannot accept that your children are the age they are--and you want them either to be younger or older, so you try forcing them into something they are not and you find yourself in an unreal place.
Or like when you live where you do, and for the moment, it's just not possible or wise to move someplace else (which is not to say it will always be that way) so you complain and see every stick, every window through dissatisfied eyes.
Like when your spouse still has the same annoying habits and God has convicted you that, to nag him/her is a worse thing than the annoying habit itself--at least in His eyes (and it all feels so unfair).
Or like when you can't eat the foods you used to lest you become sick (or fat) or when certain friends have decided to walk away from you or even their own spouse and you cannot change their minds, though you try ... Or when you are 47 but in your head you feel only 27--until a glance in the mirror makes you gasp... or that you were unjustly accused of what you did not do... and are unable to convince people otherwise.
I have found that acceptance must come first. Before I can move on or move past whatever it may be--deserved or undeserved. Before I can grow or learn--or most of all--forgive.
By acceptance I don't mean an admission of defeat or giving-up on the future--not at all. But rather, I mean admitting that things are the way they are right now--right at this one moment in time. That things went down as they went down. They happened. Whether I can look them square in the eye without crying or regretting--or not. It's an acceptance of not being able to change the past.
Then, after acceptance, (and only after), can I rightfully ask God, "So what, if anything, should I do about this?" Funny how almost never are His ways like mine (or like what everyone else told me to do or think).
The best thing about acceptance? There is a stillness, an after-the-fight quietness which comes afterward--it's hard to hear anything in the midst of the kicking and yelling of Denying What Is. In that stillness, that peace, it becomes easier to hear the way in which we should go. Or if we should even go at all.
It becomes easier to see things as they really are--and to realize that, although things have changed--there, suddenly, has appeared something new which had never been there before. Something new and beautiful standing over the grave of What Once Was--but something which only the eyes of acceptance can glimpse.