“The universe knows what it’s doing.”
“I have to trust that everything happens for a reason.”
“God gives us only what we can shoulder.”
“Everthing will turn out okay in the end.”
There is a particular grace required to truly be content, despite any particular dissapointments life throws at us. The question of issues surrounding race has come up, and I intend to address it; however, I was speaking with a friend last night, and it occurred to me that there was a topic I wanted to address first: The humility of acceptance.
The platitudes above are clichés. But a statement becomes cliché, because it is repeated. And it is repeated, hopefully, because it’s true. “Everything will turn out okay in the end” can be a very frustrating default response when you’re telling someone your worries or troubles. It can seem like a shallow response (and if there’s no thought behind it, then it is). However, that type of reassurance, when it’s invested with real faith, is actually a compliment to you and to Creation: The person who says it believes you are strong enough to get past the challenge, and that person also believes Life has a purpose that will include you.
I was supposed to be famous by the time I was 22. I was supposed to have my debt paid off by now. Of all the men I’ve cherished, at least one of them one supposed to be nice to me. I could go on and on. But to what end? Focusing on not getting what you think you wanted just encourages bitterness and disappointment. I’m trying to learn to accept that I really do believe that everything happens for a reason.
I’m bracing myself for the possibility that I won’t be accepted into the Physical Therapy program I applied for. I am hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. Do I want to get accepted? Definitely! Will I be disappointed if I’m not? Probably. But won’t life go on regardless? Indubitably!
If I’m not accepted into that program, well… then I’ll keep on as I am (which ain’t so bad, mind you!), and keep looking for other options. I know I eventually need to make a life/career transition, so I’ll just come up with other options. In the meantime, I do have a workable plan to get my debt paid off, and THAT takes a huge load off my mind. It’s feasible, and I am excited to start it into motion. There are lots of people who run to me, male and female, who are nice to me, who respect me, and who treat me with care; so worrying about persons of the XY persuasion who do not make me feel good is not a reasonable option. The fame… well, looking at Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, and other victims of rampant “success,” I think that being known and respected at the level I am is compliment enough (for now).
Coming back into the light half of the year, I’m re-remembering that balance is a dynamic, active breath between polarities, often at the halfway point (but not always). When dancing, true balance is when you are weightless and effortless in your body, but it cannot be achieved without exerting and maintaining great energy. There’s something zen about that fact: Without the proper tone, extension in all directions, and a sense of expansion (all which require a great deal of exertion), the moment of float cannot be. And it is just a moment.
Anyway, somehow in all that what I’m trying to say is that you can’t be happy without actively creating it. If it seems like the world is denying you what you want, or if you feel blocked repeatedly, consider whether what you want is even feasible/possible/productive/heathful/positive and whether the way you’re going about trying to get it is even a means to that end. And if, despite all your rethinking and reordering, you still do not achieve something particular, then, so long as you aren’t compromising your safety or health (or that of others), consider being content without. Letting go of one desire frees your hands to grasp something even better.
William Forsythe, one of the most brilliant choreographers of the last 50 years, said to us repeatedly at UCLA: “No hope. No fear.” He meant that every moment can be beautiful, if you let it be exactly what it is, without trying to force your hopes (which can be dashed) upon anything. He is a master of improvisation, and he wouldn’t be able to do that if he were investing set expectations on everything. There is nothing you can’t do, so long as you keep all your options open at all times. If you go in “knowing” what you want, there is a much greater chance you will not get it. Having a more generalized sense of what would be nice, and being open to different paths of approaching it, means you have almost no chance for failing.
Do not say “Everything will be okay in the end,” unless you really mean it. Wasting the thought waters it down. Thou shalt not speak clichés in vain. Use this phrase as a mantra to encourage you, not as a bored statement of defeat. Let your surrender be the means to your advantage, and your defeat will become a victory.