Posted by: Stephen Paul | July 26, 2007

Accept what is? Really?

Two days ago I wrote about how difficult is to accept what is, referring then to the complex array of global problems we face. I stated how overwhelming that can be. What could possibly be tougher than that?

Well…this morning a good friend called to inform me that his wife, a past colleague of mine and dear friend for decades, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. Of course, he was struggling with emotions.

These are bright, charming, exhuberant people. They were both highly esteemed professionals in their fields. They had diligently planned for retirement. The husband even went through a year of life coaching in preparation. When the time arrived, they had everything in perfect order. They were excited about to move to a stimulating new community in a new area. Then, suddenly, without any warning, she was dead.

How do you prepare for that? What’s that saying, “Man proposes, and God disposes.” Things have a tendency to unfold much differently than we plan and expect–especially the important things. The best way to prepare is to become more quiet, more fluid, more accepting of uncertainty and the unexpected, more open to guidance and inspiration–and more humble.

There is one amazingly good outcome to this story. Because my friends were moving, and because they had planned the move so thoroughly, they had arranged to visit all the people they love all over the country this summer. My wife, Jackie, and I had brunch with them on our deck a few weeks ago. I am so glad I got to see my dear friend and remember just how very much I love her before she died. I’m sure many people in her life are feeling the same way right now. It isn’t what we expected, but still, it is wonderful.

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