This way is best… For me
I have a lot of ideas about what should happen and why things should happen that way. I’ve thought it through. It makes the most sense. I’m guessing most of us do this. We’re very smart and have it figured out 😉
Yes, we have a very good plan (gosh I have so many of those). We reason, explain and believe that if things just go this way, it’ll all be good. Then, very often things don’t go that way. Sincerely, I’ve found that things almost never turn out the way that I imagined them to. Don’t you? If our happiness depends on things “turning out” the way we planned, we’re pretty much destined for unhappiness! (I should have been a millionnaire a long time ago!!!!)
Negative response or not…
People don’t behave the way that we think they should. It rains on our picnics. Loved ones get sick. Someone doesn’t show up for the party and you were deeply waiting to meet her or him. Our hair starts turning gray or falling out. Our kid gets a tatoo (like seriously? Actually my daughter wants her belly button pierced… Like me ;( yeah I know I know…) Then they tell us that they want to be a Rock Star instead of a Lawyer (I hope my kids won’t choose to be a lawyer like me… The list goes on and on! There is no shortage of situations that “don’t go our way”!
The big news is that situations are NOT what causes our suffering. It’s our reaction to them. We can accept what is and avoid suffering or we can resist what is, and fuel our own suffering
Not a Sign of Weakness
Our culture conditions us with programs that go against acceptance. as if it’s a bad word or a sign of failure. We are taught to “Fight the Good Fight”, “Never Surrender”, “Make it Happen”, “Show em who’s the boss!” etc. All this is with good intentions, but we get the message that when things don’t go the way that we imagined them, we need to force them to! So we try to control, fix, change, convince, coerce, fight, manipulate, threaten, until we get things the way that we want them (does it resonates with you?). Yes, I’ve tried them all! None worked very well. Many of them worked for a short time and then just end up increasing the suffering. MY SUFFERING.
Acceptance Takes Strength and Trust
We can’t see the big picture. We only see what’s right in front of us. We can’t see the ending of the story when we’re in the middle of it. The truth is that plenty of good things come out of a situation that appears to be “bad”. Take a moment now to think of a couple of the “best” things in your life right now. What are they? The things you love and cherish the most! Maybe it’s a job, home, hobby, career or a relationship. Got em? Ok, now trace them back to their origin? Go back in time. How did they come about? Come on, this will only take a minute, just think about it. Most of the time, the best things in our lives were born out of a situation that we thought of as “bad” at the time it was happening. Voila!
PS I started practicing yoga because of an injury (bad event that turned into good)
What happens inside when you say the word “Acceptance”? Try saying it now. Is there fear? Resistance? Afraid to lose control? Life will continue to change our best plans. We can avoid suffering by trusting that there is a power or force at work that “has our back”. We can accept, that if things aren’t going the way that we wanted, there is a higher intelligence at work that knows better and who CAN see the big picture. We have all heard the stories about the guy who was fired from his job and went on to start his own successful business. The woman who’s husband left her, who went on to have a relationship that was far better than she ever imagined possible. The person who lost a limb in an accident and became a public speaker inspiring thousands with her courage. I know it’s not easy. Especially when it’s about the big things like loss of loved ones. In these cases there must be grieving, and even anger first. Start with accepting that you’re sad or angry. Accept that you’re scared. Then move on from there.
Choose one situation that has been causing you suffering. Now consider, “Where could I insert some acceptance?” What do you have to lose?
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