Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Self Acceptance

A certain amount of life-review is going on with me. Suppose it is the culmination of the events of the past three years and my recent near death debacle. When I think about when I was most happy over the last decade, it was when Steve and I bought our house and, days later, married. I felt settled, content and satisfied that my life had come to this. My parents liked my husband -- a new experience for me! Husband number one - nope. Wife number one - definitely nope.

Finally, here I was with a spouse that I could take to my parents' home; we socialized together, drank martinis and became silly together.  And Steve adored my mother.  I loved my new home and the lovely park like lot it sat on.  I had a hammock out front -- my "Happy Place," I called it.

When Steve's Parkinson's became worse, it was clear that we needed to move to a place where he could be cared for as his disease progressed.  We sold our much loved house only a few years after we moved in.  It was the move from hell.  Steve was no help at all, and that was only partially due to PD.  I carried the load on this one.  And it pissed me off.  Then I felt guilty for my anger towards him.  After all, he was ill.  

The next couple of years were a blur for many reasons, both his and mine.  I think about what I could have done differently and feel bad about the times I did not rise to the occasion.

I carry 'guilt' not only for those times, but previous relationships as well.  I am hard on myself.  I am working on this.  This quote came across my Facebook feed today and really spoke to me.

From Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield. "A quality of mature spirituality is self-acceptance, rather than guilt, blame, or shame for the ignorant acts we've committed or the fears that still remain within us. It understands that inner opening requires the warm sun of loving-kindness. In deep self-acceptance grows a compassionate understanding. We are asked to touch with mercy the parts of ourself that we have denied, cut off, or isolated. Mature spirituality is a reflection of our deep gratitude and capacity for forgiveness.

Excerpt: "Bringing Home the Dharma: Awakening Right Where You Are"

My stumblings were born out of my ignorance, or out of my human shortcomings. I endeavor to pluck the memories of good deeds and good things that have also (abundantly) populated my life. It is a never ending exercise.


  1. I'm trying to remember that house that you and Steve had together. I remember the doggie in the photo. Our pasts are full of bad decisions, human shortcomings, and stumblings... so true, but also the deep passion for finding the better ways to be our human selves.

    1. It was in Davis. Behind an elementary school and a dog park - very convenient! Tara

  2. Oh I need to read that quote again and again...may I borrow it (including attribution to Kornfield)? Just what I needed this morning! Acceptance at this age (of self) means a lot of "just letting be" for me.

    1. Hey, I borrowed it, so I figure you can as well! I think I may get the book it is from. Jack Kornfield is one wise, loving human. Tara

  3. 37paddington: I thought I left a comment here before, but it seems not to have gone through. I wanted to say self-acceptance is a good plan, much kinder than guilt, which ravages us. If we knew better we'd have done better, and now we can hold those memories tenderly, with some regret perhaps, but also with grace for ourselves, and what we are still learning of life.


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