Accepting the things we cannot change

Mental Health and Wellness
Accepting the things we cannot change

Do you ever feel like the same things keep happening in your life, or, "It’s always something?"  Do you find yourself feeling like the weight of the world is on your shoulders?  Here are some self-reflection and acceptance strategies.

Things happen in life that we have no control over such as: loss of a loved one, children leaving the nest, job layoff or termination. These difficult changes in life can lead  to suffering.

"Radical acceptance" does not mean agreeing with what has happened. Instead, it means accepting it.  The more we try to resist the fact of what is, the more we suffer.

Part of the healing process means to first accept "what is." .Once we are able to do that, then we are able to make necessary changes to move forward.

So how do we practice radical acceptance of difficult events that take place in our lives?

  • Write down in a journal the cycles that keep continuing in your life, what causes distress and what you feel is out of your control.
  • Look at your list a week later. Has it  changed?  Review the items in your list that haven’t changed.
  • Repeat this for several days.
  • The following week, look at each item on your list individually and ask yourself,  “Is there something I can do about this ?”
  • There will be some things that you cannot change.
  • For the ones that you can do something about, develop options for change.
  • Making a list of pros and cons can be helpful when making decisions or changes. Talk to your friends and family members. Sometimes once something is said out loud, we already know our own answer.
  • Once you make a decision to change something, start to take baby steps in that direction.
  • Don’t forget to look back and see the progress you made.

In life there are  things we can change, and some we cannot. The first step to well-being is to recognize that and radically accept, "what is."