december reflections | i let go of

Don’t despair: despair suggests you are in total control and know what is coming. You don’t - surrender to events with hope.
— alain de botton

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A week after I had my stroke in July, I had an appointment with my acupuncturist She walked into the quiet and darkened room and said, "there is nothing you could have done to prevent this. You didn't miss anything." She has worked with me for two years and she knew immediately where my mind was. I had and have no risk markers for stroke and over the next few months, my medical tests would prove that. So why and how did this happen. 

In my subsequent visits with her, my acupuncturist would talk to me about how I am learning that incredibly difficult lesson that I can't control life that sometimes things just happen. Then Noah died ... and the lessons continued. 

When I got the call that Noah had been in a car accident, my mind couldn't comprehend that as a possibility. Noah was my safest driver. How could this have happened? 

We go through our lives doing all the things that we think will keep us safe. We raise our children to do the things that will keep them safe. We want their lives, their bodies, their hearts to be kept safe. There is no controlling life. There is no checking off the things on the list each day and rest is assurance that everything will be OK. Life happens. 

I am learning to let go of the illusion of control. I am learning how to do that and not be lost in despair. I want to have hope but I haven't learned how to release that despair and hold onto hope yet. I know that I have no control ... I know that very well. I just don't know what to do with that knowing. 

I've also learned to let go of the things that simply don't matter. I've always been a rather intense person with a firm understanding of wrong and right, of better and best, of how things should be. Yeah. I have learned that none of that matters. 

What does matter?

Love.

Kindness.

Any chance to smile.

Grace. 

Small moments together. 

Sometimes I find myself shrinking and tensing up, drawing in, protecting myself. Breathe. Inhale, exhale. Remember what is important. Be here now. That's about it.