When life doesn’t go your way, what do you do?
How you respond to a reality that you disagree with says a lot about your emotional well-being. I always attempt to break things down to the simplest level possible. When things are simple I find them much more accessible. So I’ve simplified the options we have when things don’t go our way.
There are always only three responses available to you.
- You don’t accept what is. You angrily protest. The protest doesn’t have to show itself dramatically. Even if you are angry, frustrated or disappointed in your own heart, you are protesting the way things are.
- You accept what is and make peace with it. You know you’re at peace with because you feel fine and peaceful within.
- You accept what is and do something to change it. Once you’ve accepted what is, you can bring your full self to work on changing it.
As long as you’re still protesting, you are emotionally unavailable to properly make a change. You can’t change something if you haven’t accepted that it is. Only after you’ve accepted that things are the way they are can you now say, “How can I take what is and make it different.”
Anger, the most common response, leaves you emotionally unclear to make any change. The reality remains and only you have changed. You’ve become angry.
Acceptance means you are emotionally clear. You’ve come to terms with what is.
Very often though, acceptance alone is not enough. We must make sure our acceptance is not a form of resignation. Not resigning yourself means you are ready to change what is. This is why acceptance without resignation is so powerful.
So which response will you choose?