Posted by: Viola | February 12, 2015

Waking up to a poem about acceptance

I wake up in the morning to poems. Sometimes. Yesterday, Wednesday, I woke up to a poem. Or was it two poems? I had only so much space in my brain. So I forgot one poem. I scribbled the other one down in my notebook, before it slipped away from my forgetting brain. In the poem, the word “acceptance” was repeated. It became a theme. I went with it. As cliche as that word might be. I went with it. Later in the day, I was doing some research on the yoga topic of chakras and stumbled upon the word acceptance. It made me go back to what I had written in the morning. A poem that revolves around acceptance. The practice of accepting things, accepting reality, accepting failure and loss, but also accepting joy, freedom, power, choice.

The poem I woke up to still needs a lot of work. It is far from finished. And I cannot say whether it is a good poem or a bad poem. But I can say that the ideas within it are great ideas. I explore acceptance and it’s opposite, which I frame a resistance. Resistance is very powerful. It is overwhelming. Resistance can be more devastating, in my opinion, than failure. Failure can teach us a lot about ourselves and what works for us or doesn’t. But resistance gets in the way of the lessons we can learn. Resistance teaches us nothing except an awareness of our own stubbornness and defiance in the face of what might be life-saving for us.

When we wake up, if we have slept well and are refreshed, we might feel the essence of acceptance. An openness to what is, to the way things are, or to the changes we need to make in our lives. But when we are stressed, burned out, taxed by work and relationships and commitments, we might slam into the walls of resistance. We fight the view. We reject the reality we face. We deny that reality. We pretend and lie to ourselves. We ignore the view before us. We neglect the changes we need to make. We procrastinate on things that should be our priorities. Whole lives can be wasted in the mode of resistance. And there is no cure except for acceptance–the constant practice of accepting ourselves, others, the tasks ahead of us, the things that matter the most to us.

I am not sure what will become of this poem about acceptance. But I am going to keep it close to my heart. A reminder that it is healthy for me to be accepting of who I am–the artist that I am. I find so many creative ways to resist the whole idea of being an artist. I find other things to do instead of working on my art. I run away from poetry, instead of embracing it. I am getting better at staying the course, but it is tough. I am constantly tempted to go do something else. Anything else but deal with the deep thoughts and emotions that go into a poem. I want to run from my fears, my fear of failing and even my fear of succeeding. As I write more and go deeper into projects, expanding my confidence for tackling things like lengthier manuscripts, I am getting better at staying true. I strive to remember that poetry lights up my life, and I must be ready to do the work I need to do to keep this light shining. For me and for everyone else around me. The world needs as much light as each of us can nurture in ourselves and share with others.

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