Reality is not interested in our opinions, objections or agendas.
It is the one thing that’s ever renewing and ever progressing from one state of completion to another, with or without our consent.
Question is, how do we forgive reality for being what it is? When things go south, how do we keep ourselves from punching holes in walls and hurling heavy objects across the room?
There are two words that have been deeply useful in my own journey of compassion and forgiveness. Two words that make it surprisingly easy to laugh in the face of misfortune.
This is the phrase we say, either to ourselves, to others, or to the universe, that suggests whatever is happening is normal, obvious and perfectly human, and it should therefore not surprise us one bit.
In fact, the word course literally means onward movement and motion forward. Because that’s how reality rolls. It just keeps on doing its thing.
When something happens to me seemingly out of nowhere, something frustrating or absurd or infuriating, my first response begins with those two words.
Of course my flight is going to be four hours late and disrupt my itinerary.
Of course my door key snapped off inside of the deadbolt and costs hundreds of dollars to replace.
Of course we just ran out of printer paper and nobody in the office but me cares enough to run the store and pick up a fresh ream.
Not sure about you, but announcing those two words makes it surprisingly easy for me to laugh in the face of misfortune and not fall to pieces when disaster strikes.
Vonnegut used the trademark phrase so it goes in his bestselling novel. Same concept. The words followed every mention of death in his book, equalizing all of them natural, accidental, intentional and otherwise. But the repetition of the words almost kept a tally of the cumulative force of death throughout the novel, pointing out the tragic inevitability of mortality.
Kurt’s words epitomized his acceptance that no use ever comes from shrinking away when the worst happens.
Call it morbid, fatalistic, nihilistic, but hey, at least the guy was willing to admit that we all do what we have to do to keep the shit at shoe level in this circus called life.
He had the grace to simultaneously accept and dismiss everything.
Which brings me peace.
This embracement of the absurd provides a safe place to turn when the insanities and horrors of the world exhaust me.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What do you say to yourself in moments of honest acceptance?