I’ve had a strong connection to rainbows since my Dad passed in June 2019. Mom and I were at Dad’s side as he took his last breath. I believe that he heard Mom and I tell him how much we loved him. It was a powerful, emotional moment that I feel blessed to have witnessed. When we left to go home, as we stepped out the door a cloudburst sprinkled rain on us while the rest of the sky was blue. I told Mom that we would see a rainbow soon and that when we did, it would be Dad giving us a wink and letting us know he was fine.
Two days later the family gathered at Mom’s house. John had gone outside for something and came rushing back in to say that we all needed to go outside. As we went out onto the porch, what did we see before us? A giant rainbow stretching from one end of the sky to the other! My mother and I looked at the rainbow and then at each other in amazement. Tears flowed. We tried to explain to the others, but this was something that we couldn’t really explain. It was such a strong feeling or love and connection to Dad. Simply amazing. And in the months that followed, every time I thought about Dad and asked him for a sign, a rainbow would appear not long after.
I took the rainbow picture on my web page on Father’s Day, when I saw not one, not two, not three, but FOUR separate rainbows! Coincidence? Maybe. But maybe not. And, if it makes me feel better thinking that Dad is sending me a message of love and connection, what’s wrong with that? Not a thing.
Thanks, Dad. Keep sending me rainbows, please! xoxo
This is one of the phrases I repeat to myself quite often now. The mindful concept of acceptance was such a hard one for me to wrap my head around. Why accept what isn’t good? Isn’t that just throwing up your hands and waving a white flag? That’s for wimps. But is it?
What I have come to understand is that not accepting what ‘is’ is a futile effort. If I am feeling uncomfortable about something, I can choose to resist it which will likely cause me more suffering. Or I can choose to accept that it is happening and then make conscious choices about what to do about it. I may choose to breathe through it and know that this, too, shall pass. Or I may choose to take action. Either way, acceptance doesn’t mean rolling over and playing dead. It means understanding that ‘shit happens’ and denying it won’t make it go away or be untrue.
“What is is” is such an overused phrase but … it is true! Think about it. What is is. Accept that fact. The next thing to ask yourself is what you can do about it. Can you change it? If not, then anything but acceptance will cause suffering. That doesn’t mean you have to like it. Or that it feels good. It simply means you are facing reality and know that there are things out of our control. How can you soothe yourself? Try taking some long, slow breaths. Feel what you are feeling and then let it go. (I know … easier said than done but keep practicing and it does get easier.)
If you can change it, which may mean changing yourself or the situation, then go for it! We actually have more control than we give ourselves credit for. If you aren’t happy with a situation, figure out how to change it. No extra credit in life given for suffering. I heard that, “…acceptance is the frequency of miracles.” It just might be!
My father, of blessed memory, used to say that a lot. He also used to say “the road to hell is paved with good intentions” but I’ll save that one for another time. I never really thought much about every day being a new beginning until I was older, and time became so much more precious to me. Every day is a new opportunity to start fresh. To review my priorities and re-focus when necessary.
When my friend asked me today about blogging, my immediate reaction was … me? blog? why? what? hmmm … maybe?
As I approach retirement from my second career, this seems like an appropriate time to try new things. Why not? Wendy 3.0!
I started my personal meditation practice about six years ago. I was dealing with some stressful situations and needed to find a way to relax that did not involve consuming a box of wine. I wasn’t sure if I would stick with it, but after a month of daily practice, I started looking forward to ‘sitting’. Quieting my mind. Focusing on my breath. If I missed a day, I felt the difference (and made sure to practice the next day)!
When I sit each morning to meditate, I am reminded that this moment is all we have. And, in this moment, I want to share what I have learned to help others find peace.