I was asking my 86-year-old mother the other day if she was planning a trip to Florida this winter. She doesn’t go every year, but it has always been something that she loved doing. Her answer took me aback. She basically said, “One of the things that I loved about going to Florida was walking on the beach. I’m not steady enough on my feet to do that anymore, but it’s ok. I’m finding that I don’t necessarily want to do the things I’ve always done.”
She was so absolutely peaceful as she talked that I sat in amazement. My mother has always been the kind of person who wanted to do everything fast….and faster than other people. She didn’t accept “limitations” in herself or others, and while I think it can be wonderful to have high standards, there can also be something exhausting about it (both for the person and for those around them). Even people who are constantly trying to “be better people” often seem uneasy….and so they are not easy to be around.
I never remember my mother being at peace with herself and so as I watch her move into this place of acceptance, and not fighting the natural rhythm of her life, I feel at peace being with her too.
Life is not a battle to be won. There are no enemies who need to be fought. There is nothing to struggle against, or for, or with….unless I approach life that way. I’ve done that in the past, and I have exhausted myself and others. Life is happening for me…life is happening for you…life is happening for us all. …it’s time to relax, it’s time to trust that we live in a friendly universe…filled only with friends (and this includes our bodies, our animals, our families, our communities, our country, our world).
“Strenuous effort defeats your purpose and suggests the consciousness of an adverse force to be fought against….” Genevieve Behrend, from Your Invisible Power