Yesterday I decided to give my oracle cards a shuffle and see what came up. The card was ‘Peace’. The message was ‘Freedom from attachment; radical acceptance.’
I love this message. Freedom from attachment to ideas, perceptions, or ideologies. Freedom from attachment to outcomes. Freedom from expectations. Radical acceptance. Makes me feel like a badass just saying it. Like a revolutionary. Accepting reality as it is. Accepting ourselves and others as we are.
I came upon this idea a few years ago. I started to implement it only after I spent a long time beating my head against the wall.
You see, I am a woman who loves to communicate. I believe in verbal communication above all else. If there’s a problem, I want to talk it out. Talk, talk, listen, listen, talk. And then talk. I mean, how best to avoid conflict but with a great discussion?
So I married a quiet, non-verbal guy. And this is how I handled his silence. I insisted that he talk to me.
I was wholly and completely attached to the idea that it was vital for our marriage to be a success. I mean, every book about relationships states that communication is key, right? And I was the queen of communication. Poor guy didn’t have a chance, because there was no argument that he could win. No discussion that my point of view didn’t dominate. After all, words were my strength. So for years, I’d bitch about his silence, and he’d promise to try to talk more. And he would, for a while. But inevitably, the cycle would start over, only I’d be angrier because he was constantly promising me something that he couldn’t deliver.
One day, I hit a wall. I just couldn’t take one more cycle. And I had a bit of an epiphany. I realized that I was attached to an idea of how we had to communicate. I was constantly trying to change something that was out of my control. I was trying to change him. And if you would have asked me at the time, I would have said No I’m not, I’m trying to change his behaviour, not him. Well, bullshit. I was trying to change him. So I had a choice. Do I love him as he is, or do I leave? And I stayed because he is a good man. He is kind. He is the least judgemental person I know. He has always accepted me as I am, and has never asked me to be less. Not only does he love me, but he likes me too. And he does communicate, just in different ways than me. If he wants to discuss something, he will have thought it out in his head first. Complete opposite of me. He shows his love by bringing me coffee in bed on Sunday mornings, and digging up all the dandelions in our yard. He works hard every day, and never complains that I am home, doing what I love, which makes no money at all.
So when I became free from the attachment I had to that idea, I found peace. When I accepted how things are instead of how I thought they should be, I found peace. And every day, I work on this, in a million different ways. From life in my home, to the town that I live in, to the world at large.
Instead of wasting my time trying to change things that are beyond my control, I try, in small ways, to affect those things that I can. Try to stand up and be heard where it matters, and be quiet about the stuff that doesn’t. Try to recognize that your reality may be different than mine, and accept that both are valid. Let go of being right, and reach out my hand instead. Practice radical acceptance of this beautiful and troubled world that I live in. And do what I can to bring it a bit of peace.