Sometimes, life just doesn’t go at all the way we had planned. We switch majors, switch schools, friendships end, relationships end, new friends come, jobs come and go, and we change our dreams and goals. At first, these changes can seem downright horrible for those of us, like myself, who hate change that we have no control over. I like change when I can control it and when I want it. For example, I liked switching my major because I knew it was what I wanted to do with my life. But, I don’t like change when it is something I wasn’t planning on or expecting.
When I discover that what I had wanted for so long is no longer plausible, or that my future might not be exactly the way I had wanted it to be, I tend to react very negatively. I have a hard time accepting that things don’t always go the way I want them to at the moment.
This has been a constant struggle of mine, because it is very difficult for me to find peace and joy in situations that don’t necessarily present themselves the way I was hoping they would. What I have learned though, is that the fact that I struggle with this is perfectly OK.
Accepting the fact that I don’t feel at peace or happy with certain situations has been the first step in actually beginning to feel at peace and happy. It’s weird how that works.
I don’t like feeling sad, I don’t like feeling lost, and I don’t like feeling confused. These statements used to make me feel even more sad, lost, and confused. But, simply accepting the fact that I don’t like feeling those ways has eliminated so much of the anxiety surrounding situations that make me feel sad, lost, or confused. I tend to worry a lot about the fact that I am sad about something, which makes it seem even worse than it actually is. But, realizing that it is OK to feel that way makes my worries lessen, even just a little.
Accepting the situations that we are in leads to so much more peace in our lives, even if we hate our current situations. The heightened anxiety and stress we live through as a result of not acknowledging or being okay with the fact that we don’t like something that is happening to us can be reduced tremendously if only we have the courage and strength to accept that it is our reality, at least for now.
There is so much freedom that comes from the act of simply saying that we don’t like the way things are right now. Accepting that we are sad, hurt, grieving, lonely, confused, or whatever other emotion we may be feeling allows us to take control of the situation, frees us from the worry the unaccepted feelings bring, and empowers us to take back our lives, in pursuit of the amazing adventures and joys that await us.
"God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.