Thursday, January 31, 2013

Acceptance and a Quiet Heart

Amy Carmichael, a missionary in India, wrote,
"In acceptance lies peace."
Accept [even this]. We (at least I do) immediately start a list of qualifiers. But not [this] or certainly not [that]. Nope. Accept [even this].

One of our daughters compared this to a making a fist, or the contrast of an open hand. She wrote,
"I did a study on acceptance and that really helped my outlook on life. The opposite of acceptance is resistance, and resistance consumes a huge amount of energy. Someone compared it to when you clench your fist, how it takes strength and energy to clench your fists. But, if you open your hands and relax them (let go), it takes no strength and no energy. Acceptance, letting means you stop using your energy on things you have no control over so you have energy for the things you do have control over (mainly yourself). It's a wonderful thing!"                      -Ginny
 Remember in the Charlie Brown Christmas movie when Lucy is telling Linus why he has to get rid of his blanket? She says, "I'll give you five good reasons." Holding her open hand hand in front of his face, she tucks in each finger, counting, "One, two, three, four, five," ending with a tight fist, a fighting stance.
Linus says, "Those are very good reasons." And with what we know of Lucy's character, she was not one to back down.

An open hand is relaxed. Turned upward, it is able to receive.  A peaceful stance.

The contrast of a smile or a frown illustrates this concept, too. A peaceful, calm, relaxed smile. Or, a tight-lipped, jaw-tensed, scrunched-up forehead. Ask my family which I wear more often. My goal, a relaxed, quiet smile.

Like a surfer catching the waves, the goal is to stay on top, loose, fluid, and relaxed. Balanced. A surfer doesn't control the waves. But s/he can accept the strength and power of the wave and it becomes a tool, a means of travel.

Traveling lighter. Let go. A quiet smile. Acceptance. Balance. An open hand. The strength of  a quiet heart.


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  2. This post and yesterday's are wonderful, Maureen. I love how your daughter described acceptance... kind of goes with some things I've been learning (re-learning) this month. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and your lessons of a month of "quiet".