“Maybe You Are Searching Among The Branches,  For What Only Appears In The Roots…” Rumi

There is a prayer whose key phrase is “change the things I can, accept the things I cannot change and the wisdom to know the difference.” I am not a proponent of one religion over another, or even one lifestyle over another, but this simple phrase has always resonated with me and so I am sharing it with you because, whether we like it or not, life is about making choices and accepting the outcome of these choices.

I will say it again – life is about making choices and accepting the outcome of these choices.

It is that simple.

Every single time we are happy it is because we are content with the results of our choices and our entire being is working in harmony.

Any time that we are not happy it is because there is a part of us that is not content with our circumstances. You can package this any way you want and call it greed, anger, depression, envy, hate, helplessness and so forth, but those are just fancy excuses that we use as a crutch to help us evade the one real issue: we are not content with a situation or a circumstance.

There is no point in scoffing and dismissing the importance of this one core truth. If you are reading this and you are not happy at this very moment then you need to ask yourself why and decide what to do about it.

Is your situation something you can change? Is there some aspect of it you can change and, if so; what can you change about your circumstances that will enable you to either move on to a life you can be content with, or finally be at peace with the one that you have?

When you are young the world is literally your oyster – you can go anywhere, do anything and be anyone, because you have time on your side.

As we age, we have less time, less energy and changes become more difficult and more disruptive, but that does not mean that we should not make them – it simply means that we should exercise personal wisdom in deciding what to change and when. The advantage you have is that the longer you have lived, the better you know yourself and the more likely you are to know what sort of a change in circumstance (or attitude) will bring you peace and ultimately happiness.

There is absolutely no reason that you should not, or cannot have it all at any age; but keep in mind that “having it all” means managing it all – the good and the bad.

Ironically, the further you travel in life the more the key to acceptance becomes the ability to manage your expectations and accept the limitations of any situation or circumstance.


3 responses to “Acceptance

  1. You say you don’t follow any particular religion. Basically, though, what you espouse are Stoic ideas. Stoicism is considered more a philosophy than a religion, but it does serve religious functions for its adherents. Here’s a quote from Epictetus that would fit well in your post: “First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.”

    • Thanks Bob – you are correct sometimes I am very much a stoic, but at all times one with a very compassionate heart. I try to learn from all situations and people as best I can. I think that our greatest gift as people is our level of communication skills and yet so often people are afraid to share what they know.

      • Stoicism (the philosophical stance, that is) is certainly compatible with being compassionate. I find stoicism too much of a “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” approach to life (I’m a Christian, and I don’t think it fits well with the gospel). Certainly, though, it is effective at accomplishing its goals.

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