poetry

Acceptance: The Act of Jettisoning. {poetry}

 

Why do some people find it difficult to move forward after loss of a loved one? Why do some people have a low self-esteem? Why do people find it difficult to accept?

People struggle with coming to terms with bad situations that they cannot change. And while they know that it was out of their control, they fail to accept it. Acceptance is a skill that has proven to be the key to healing and surviving. It demands honesty about one’s failures, abilities, weaknesses, situations and mistakes. Ego, fear, environment, past experiences influences one’s ability to accept.

If only acceptance was taught and practiced in school early on, we would have mentally and emotionally healthier adults, confident people who did not hurt themselves or others as a result of their inability to accept.

The pandemic has affected everybody in some way. It’s brought out people’s frailties, and some who found it hard to handle unfortunately succumbed to the pressures brought forth by it. In the current times, when the future seems uncertain, it becomes all the more important to practice acceptance.

I wrote this poem as I was coming to terms with a personal situation. Accepting what had happened as God’s decision made it easier to move on.

***

Acceptance is like jettisoning,
You have to unload to survive
Or risk going under

If you choose the former
And decide to move forward
You’re not a coward
You’re braver
Than you thought

So when the baggage you’re carrying
Causes your shoulders to ache
Your fingers to crease and your back to break
You need to let it go

Before the waves crash,
The tide rises, the current swirls
And your ship twirls
without your consent, you jettison —

beginning with the heaviest
you keep going,
dumping one by one

Until the lightness buoys you up
And propels you forward
Even when the waters are choppy

There’s nothing new you need to learn
Like the speed of the wind or about the stern,
How to haul the mast or the current’s direction
The basics will do

Things you know, you’ve always known
Taking only as much as you can hold
Around which your fingers can fold
And letting the rest of it slip

I practiced it
When the sea was rough
I had to be tough
to let it all go

But when it was done, I dreamed that
my ship was anchored
the breeze kissed my cheek
and the cool sand caressed my feet.

I spread my toes
watched the birds fly over the horizon
and the sun rise
and I was healed.

***

Smitha Vishwanath is a banker-turned-writer and a management professional, who embarked on the writing journey in 2016 with her blog, while still heading the regional cards operations of a bank. After having worked for almost two decades in senior roles in the banking industry in the Middle East, she quit and moved to Mumbai, India in July 2018 with her husband and two daughters. In July 2018, she co-authored Roads: A Journey with Verses, a book of poetry. Other than writing, she enjoys reading, traveling, painting, and going on long nature walks. Her work has been published in SpillWords, Rebelle Society, Borderless Journal and other magazines.

***

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