A Thanksgiving Message From John Two-Hawks
Written by John Two-Hawks
Acceptance is a somewhat slippery concept. I am one who is very committed to following visions, reaching for dreams, and realizing possibilities. Like many, my life circumstances in the past were often so unsuited for happiness that it was necessary for me to develop a ‘non-acceptance’ approach to most things.
Besides being a method for success, it was oftentimes a means for survival. So, in my experience, there is something good to be said for not accepting some things as they are. It is good to not tolerate circumstances that are unacceptable. So, what about acceptance? Where does this concept fit in a goal-oriented, achievement-driven world? Where does it fit in a world wrought with struggle, hardship and pain? The short and simple answer is that acceptance fits into everything.
Acceptance is found in the moments. It is in that still small voice of Spirit which whispers calm into our soul in the midst of chaos, stress and struggle. That whisper is there in our pain, our frustrations, and in times of anguish. It whispers peace.... stillness.... quiet.... transcendence.... and love. So, even as we stretch and reach, rise and overcome, in each moment there exists the still small voice of acceptance.
There are things in life which we may not ever be able to change. Some of these things we may find we can change someday, and some we may never change. Acceptance is about finding what it means to be at peace with that. It is about existing fully in the moment.... each moment. It is about knowing that all good things take time to unfold. It is about seeing and beholding the beauty of a flower which has not yet bloomed. It is about being at peace with having to experience pain in order to ultimately heal.
Acceptance does not mean we do not feel. But it does mean we do not have to be controlled and driven by what we feel. Acceptance does not mean we do not care about things. But it does mean we do not have to be controlled and driven by the things we care about. Acceptance is an awareness.... An awareness of Spirit. It is a sign of wisdom. It is the surrender of control.... the release of fear.... the letting go of worry.... and the beginning of faith. May we all come to know what it means to experience acceptance in both the things we can, and cannot, change.... in each finite, and infinite moment.
It is in the ‘little’ things….
I have had some amazing things happen while in ceremony. Things that were mind blowing, powerful and profound. These occurrences are fascinating and can lend a faith increasing element to a sacred rite. They are the kinds of things that are tempting to tell others because they don’t happen every day.
Let me get right to the point. The biggest ‘medicine’ of all is not found in the fantastic, but in the normal, everyday, seemingly mundane ‘little’ things.... the things that can go completely unnoticed. That short time you take to help the elderly grandmother pick up her bag of groceries.... The crying child you give a smile to when no one else is looking.... The patience you give a new employee at a cash register....
These are the things which carry the most amazing spiritual power. It is in these small acts that the greatest medicine exists. For in these brief moments, Spirit comes through and touches the human being with the greatest power - love - right where they are, in the midst of struggles, fears, confusion and stress. So, even though impressive things can and do happen sometimes in ceremony, remember that it is that kind word, gentle hand and genuine smile you give to someone when no one is watching that carries with it the most amazing power. Where Spirit is concerned, it truly is the ‘little’ things that count most....
Seize the day ….
So many times I have crossed paths with a special someone, not knowing that it would be the last time I would see them. What would I have said to them if I had known that this was it? Certainly I would have said the things that mattered, and skipped some of the meaningless small talk. In some cases, I would have been more gracious with my time and attention. Simply said, I would have been more of what I know I should be every day, every moment, with every person whose path crosses mine.
We must learn to embrace each moment as a sacred space. To see the bigger picture, while recognizing that the bigger picture exists fully and completely in each tender moment. For it is in the fleeting moments that the past, present and future pour into each other and become one.
So don’t take that chance meeting or casual visit for granted. And don’t pass by the kiss of the wind on your face, whispering for you to pause for just a moment of quiet tranquillity. Absorb it with a full awareness of what it is. It is everything. It is yesterday, given back to you today to embrace for tomorrow. Let it envelop you. Don’t let it pass you by unnoticed. Embrace it. Hold it in the hand of your heart and cherish it, for it is sacred.... and it is what love is really supposed to be....
John Two-Hawks is a world-renown Oglala Lakota. He is a flutist, musician, singer, teacher, speaker, author and artist. Check out his site at
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