I have written several articles about "acceptance." It is a fascinating topic and something that I look forward to achieving someday. I do not believe it is in our nature to accept something negative in our life. On the other hand, I believe that negative experiences strengthen us because it forces us to deal with personal adversity. Whether it is an illness or death of a loved one, or seeing them (or yourself) wasting away, it is difficult to accept and even more difficult to see anything positive resulting from it.
I was reading an article this morning talking about "Life Lessons." The article commented, "Pain is a vortex- Don't stay too long or it will suck you in so deeply that you can't find your way out. Feel the pain, process it, grieve then let it go and move forward. It's a choice and if you move forward, you will have a happier state of mind." I can say the same about anger and frustration. Both are choices you make. Let it go and move on. The article also mentioned, "Watch your thoughts — Watch them carefully, they can be poisonous or medicinal. It's your choice, so choose wisely. You can always choose a constructive thought rather than a destructive one." I have mentioned before that nothing comes into existence uninvited. Those self-destructive thoughts (i.e., "I can't do anything" or "I am worthless") do nothing but become an anchor that keeps you from moving forward.
I came across an interesting article recently that addresses this topic. A portion of the article is shown below and, if interested, you can read the entire article by following the link.
____________________________________A Lighter Side Of Darkness
"I give her sadness, and the gift of pain, the new moon madness and the love of rain."
– Dorothy Parker's poem Godmother
The reason I love this quote as well as the entire poem is, it reminds me that there is a gift inside of the painful experiences we feel. That gift is often not felt until the pain leaves and we breathe in the quiet stillness of inner peace. ... I see the beauty that pain leaves behind when it's gone. Once we let it leave, and when we no longer hold on to the grieving. A new beauty appears as we experience our own rebirth and return to life.
Once we know the depths of the darkness we can appreciate the depths of joy and happiness. There is a profound appreciation for happiness when the hurt leaves… deeper than before. ... sometimes it may seem our small steps are in the wrong direction, but they will lead us to living the life we desire.
________________________________________When something painful enters our lives, one of the first questions we ask is "why" him/her (or me). There is no simple answer to the question. For some reason we believe we are immune to these events until they occur. As we grow older and have lived through several of these experiences, we begin to understand that pain (including the pain caused by anger and frustration) are a part of our lives.
Having an argument, or breaking up, with your first love seemed like the end of the world when you were a teenager. Somehow you lived through it. Going through a prolonged illness of a loved one (or yourself) is always a trying time. Experiencing the death of a loved one is one of the most difficult experiences we will ever have. Once again the question of "why" shows up on our lips ... especially if a child is involved. During something like this, acceptance does not come easy because it is difficult to look beyond the immediate pain.
Yet, once we can see beyond the moment (the pain and feeling of helplessness), we tend to come out of these experiences stronger and more appreciative of what we have. We become more aware of the good that does surround us (our health, family, friends, memories, etc.). We see and experience life a little differently because we have survived. In the end, we find that life does go on.
Acceptance is a difficult pill to swallow. By breaking it into smaller pieces, however, it is easier to take. We learn from each experience and these small pieces are like stepping-stones across a wide stream. If we try to leap across, we might fall and get hurt. By taking one-step at a time, however, we eventually get cross dry and without injury.
Buried within this pill called "acceptance" is something called "gratitude." When something tragic happens, it is difficult to see anything positive. Over time, however, we begin to see and understand more clearly. Once we are receptive, another world (a different
perspective) often opens up.
In my case, I now value the small things and moments in my life. Throughout each day I find myself giving thanks because...
- I am loved.
- I did not fall.
- My wife arrived home safe from her trip.
- We are healthy.
- We have food on the table and a roof over our heads.
Now, where is the next stepping-stone?