We are contrary creatures! Most of us are poor at accepting how life is. We know from experience that it is not a smooth ride, yet we still struggle with its ups and downs. We fight the natural flow of life, both in its external form and in our moods and motivations.
When external circumstances are more difficult – our job is hard, the weather is bad, the item we wanted is out of stock – we rail against it, complain and wish it were different. When we are not in a good mood, we try to hide it, berate ourselves for having no good reason for being like this, or blame others. Yet we know that you can’t just wish it away. When we fight how things are, or how we are, we just perpetuate it – what you resist persists.
And we even resist when life feels good, rejecting compliments, telling ourselves that it won’t last. It’s a great way to spoil the moment!!
There is an alternative approach and it works more usefully for us. It’s called learning to accept. This word is powerful. It doesn’t mean give in or give up. It means to actively take hold of how things are. Instead of passively wishing things were different, we accept how they are. Then we are back in control, and we can do something about it.
For example: ‘I am feeling fed up today. What can I do that would cheer me up?’ or ‘It’s really cold today. So where’s my warm scarf and gloves?’
When we accept the state of affairs, we have the possibility of making a change that will help.
And if it’s a good mood, a good moment, our acceptance means that we give ourselves an extra boost. Enjoying and accepting a compliment puts an extra spring in our step. If we’re in a good mood, we can use it to tackle something we’ve been putting off.
Life isn’t logical; it’s an emotional experience. When we resist how it feels, we are fighting the way it works. It’s like wishing a one-way street allowed you to go the other way – futile! When we accept the way life works, it gets easier, and we can enjoy the ride..