A HAND OF WELCOME
The word “acquiescence” often carries a negative connotation – a sense that a person is reluctantly giving in – but it’s interesting that the word derives from the Latin for “quiet”, which offers a fresh perspective on it. When I acquiesce to whatever’s happening in my life, perhaps I’ve simply decided to settle into a quiet but powerful posture of acceptance. Perhaps it implies embracing even the worst situations with poise and self-respect, and then studying them and trying to learn from them. Rather than necessarily suggesting a submissive attitude, acquiescence may actually stem from understanding that saying yes to the universe’s plans for me can prepare the way for a wider kind of wisdom. I may not always love what’s happening in my life, but bowing to it can bring the inner quietness and light that learning something new often produces. I might even drop the ‘a’ in the word. Perhaps I want to keep the quiescent kind of life I seem to have fallen into, a life marked, not by the sluggishness that sometimes shows up in retirement, but by a powerful kind of peacefulness, which often can come from just accepting what’s happening. I guess I’ve slowly learned to extend a greeting to problems instead of opposing them, partly because acceptance is simply more restful than resistance, but also because working with a problem instead of against it seems to make my old life, in little and large ways, more triumphant day by day. Back in my youthful 50’s, I was often stressed and frenzied from fighting with problems, but now, in my fairly hassle-free 70’s, I’m putting out a hand of welcome to trouble, just to see what possiblities it might present.