By Bob Ahrens
An acquaintance recently told me of an incident which touched my heart and set me thinking.
This woman had given a gift to a close friend. She had thoughtfully prepared the gift, wrapped it, and, perhaps, imagined his expression and happiness on receiving it. When the day came and she gave the gift to him and he unwrapped it, however, his expression changed to one of anger and he threw the gift back at her. It was apparently not something he wanted.
Imagine how she felt!
I was struck, of course, by the personal pathos of having a love-gift rejected in such a cruel manner. But I was struck more deeply by recognizing myself in her friend who threw the gift back at her. Beloved Meher Baba, whom I say I “love,” carefully fashions every detail of our lives so that, one day, we may awaken to our Real Selves. Everything is a gift from Him, perfectly planned and given as a manifestation of His Infinite Love.
But often I find myself grumbling about those gifts: “I want that instead! Make this happen, not that!” And I complain and whine about the little suffering I experience and unhappily review events that didn’t go “my way” or dread things I imagine might occur in the future and not be to my liking.
This is me throwing the gift back at Beloved Baba.
That recognition made me very sad, but, what to do? Well, there is complete “acceptance,” which no doubt in its pure form is the solution. However, “acceptance” in my mind is a poor cousin. It implies a grudging separation of the things I don’t have to “accept”—because they tickle my ego—and the things that are otherwise unwelcome and, therefore, must be “accepted”—as in “tolerated.”
I have found that, for me, a better solution (and perhaps this appears to be simply semantics) is to try to reach out and “welcome” everything that comes to me, whether I perceive it as “good” or “bad.” “Welcoming” implies actively crossing the threshold to gladly embrace each moment and whatever it brings as a gift from Him.
Honestly, I still whine and complain. But I also find that I am learning, a little, to be joyful as I unwrap the Gifts of His Presence in my life.
Published July, 2018.