June 29 – A Little Fish Story – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

The instant a fish accepts that they will never have arms, they grow fins.

I confess I was surprised to wake one day with this knowing about fish. It seems a koan or riddle to decipher. After living with it awhile, I’ve come to feel that it holds another key to faith: that before we can be what we are meant to be, we must accept what we are not. This form of discernment asks us to let go of those grand fantasies that take us out of our nature, that make us work to be famous instead of loving, or perfect instead of compassionate.

Yet the instant we can accept what is not in our nature, rather than being distracted by all we think we could or should be, then all our inner resources are free to transform us into the particular self we are aching to be.

The act of acceptance is a risk that frees us because we can’t find the growth that awaits us until we give up what is against our very nature. It is this surrender, without knowing what will happen next, that allows our lives to truly unfold.

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