Tuesday, June 13, 2023

I Accept

How arrogant was I to think that just because I had some serious struggles in life, everything will be okay from now on. Things go wrong in everyone's life. Why should mine be different? How arrogant of me! And how foolish!

How am I any different from the young woman who once told me that nothing bad can happen to her siblings because hadn't she lost her elder brother to illness? I had pitied her and thought to myself "How foolish of her to take that as a given. People don't just have a fixed set of sorrows. How foolish it is to assume this." Was I any less foolish?

So, my son has become a stranger to me, and I to him. So, he sees every action of mine with a twisted judgmental lens? So what? Is my suffering so bad? Is it more or less than a mother who has a terminally-ill child? Am I better off or worse than a woman with no escape from a repressive marriage? Do I suffer more or less than them?

Suffering is suffering, different in nature, yet all the same, part of everyone's life.

We humans invent a god (or gods) to whom we pray for protection against sorrow. And when things do go south, we believe we didn't pray enough, so we pray more. We invent the concept of karma to understand why we suffer. And when that doesn't work, we believe it's something we did in our past lives to deserve the pain. Guilt all-around.

When an ant is accidentally crushed under our feet, is it her karma? Is her god unhappy with her? Who feels guilty about her accident? Is it not something that just happened?

I accept this suffering as part of life. I accept this as my ant-like life having been crushed accidentally. It happened, that's all. I am done blaming myself, blaming him, defending myself, defending him, feeling guilty, feeling ashamed. I am done.

I guess this is what the fifth phase of grieving is all about. After denial, anger, negotiation and depression, comes acceptance. Not really in that order, and not once linearly (how I wish), not closing once the cycle was done, not even when you reach acceptance.

I accept. For now, for today, I accept. 

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