The Value Of Acceptance

The Value Of Acceptance

Why we need to let ourselves be OK with not feeling OK all the time.
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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.
Amen."









Cover Image Credit: HuffPo

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The Husband I'm Praying For

My future husband should be a mirror of the Lord.
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Growing up, we have all probably wondered about the man we will marry - what he looks like, what his voice sounds like, what color his eyes are etc. We have all watched Disney's fairy tale movies like "Cinderella," "The Little Mermaid" and "Sleeping Beauty." The love stories that Disney creates can be merely fiction. Knowing this leads many people to believe that kind of love does not exist. As a kid, I always wanted to be Ariel and find my Prince Eric. The older I got, I realized that that kind of man does not exist without God. The Disney love story only exists through God. God writes a love story that we can not imagine. That is why we should be confident in His will for our lives. We should be confident in the love story God is writing for us.

I woke up this morning thinking about relationships and how hard it is to be in one at the age of 20. I'm not looking for a husband or a significant other right now, but I am praying for that special someone that God has planned for my life. Whether God places this special man in my life next week or in 20 years, I am going to be praying for him. I pray for the man that seeks God and His guidance. I just can't imagine being with someone who doesn't love God as much as I do. Honestly, I've decided that from this point on, I am going to let God guide my footsteps. I refuse to worry about all that is wrong with me when I should just be praying for the man God has in store for me.

Girls my age have been blinded to what a good boyfriend is and what a potential husband really looks like. I pray for the man who prays before each meal and thanks God for his simple blessings. I don't want to end up settling for less-I know what I deserve and I know that God has a plan. The husband I pray for is the man I want my daughters looking up to and being proud to have as a father. I want my children to know that their father loves Jesus and is not ashamed of it. A man who is ashamed of Jesus or only loves Jesus on Sundays is not husband material. I want my husband to be the man people associate Jesus with.

I pray that my husband is humble. I pray that my husband makes strangers feel his loving presence and know that Jesus is present in his life. I pray that my husband wants the same things I do, like 15 children-- just kidding. But, I do pray that he has a sense of humor and that he understands my need for laughter and sunshine in my life. I pray that my husband seeks Jesus during hard times and understands when the answer to his prayers are no. I hope my husband understands that no matter what, God has a plan and an answer, even if it isn't what he wants. I want my husband to be understanding of my needs and what I want out of life. I want my husband to encourage me and my decisions. I want my husband to be the man that my children know is praying for them. I want my husband to be the man who cries the first time he sees me in my wedding dress walking down the aisle. I want my husband to be the man our kids can run to at 3:00 A.M because they had a bad dream and need him to hold them. I want my husband to have a loving and sincere heart. I pray that the man I am going to marry is praying for me, just like I'm praying for him.


Cover Image Credit: Alec Vanderboom

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The Separation Between Church And Political Affiliation

My religion should not define my political affiliation, and vice versa.

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I was raised Catholic, but time and political awareness raised me to be a passionate feminist, social justice advocate, and progressive Democrat. While the Catholic church and its followers have historically aligned with conservative political stances, I have continued to remain Catholic despite my own liberal opinions. And I'm sick of people telling me I can't be both.

I am pro-choice and pro-same-sex marriage, and yes, I know this flagrantly violates the Church's teachings. But I believe Catholicism is about faith and not politics. I believe God would want me to live my life, in memory of Him and the sacrifice He made so that I could sin and be forgiven. I believe that if I were to get pregnant through rape or an irresponsible mistake, God would not want me to sit around, telling myself this was His plan for me, but to take control of my life so that His son's crucifixion was not in vain.

I believe God loves all His children, no matter their gender, ethnicity, race, or sexual orientation. And above all, I know that there is not a sin in the world for which God would not have mercy and grant forgiveness and understanding. I believe in the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. I believe God's son, Jesus Christ, is our savior. I believe in Heaven, Hell, and the Holy Spirit. And I believe God's teachings can be interpreted in more ways than one. The Bible contains arcane stories with lessons and guidelines to live a Catholic life, but the "rules" of the Church are created by the believer, Democratic or Republican.

My parents were married in a Catholic church by a Catholic priest. I was baptized in the Catholic church. I attended a Catholic school of religion once a week for eight years. I received my First Communion, and five years later I was confirmed and became a full member of the Catholic church. I have always bubbled in "Roman Catholic" as my religion on standardized tests. I know all the Ten Commandments. I attend Mass as often as I can. I pray in times of gratitude and hardship. And I attempt to follow God and his teachings every day.

Identifying as Catholic is ingrained in my person, and it is as second nature to me as identifying as Asian. And although I believe Catholicism has become stuck in a regressive past which prohibits change, the old opinions of the Catholic church do not change my faith. I have had friends, with the same political and social views as I, denounce their Catholic upbringing or convert to more progressive branches of Christianity, but I could not imagine ignoring the religion I was raised with.

Catholicism has history, holidays, traditions, and stories and lessons that are perceived by every follower differently. But that does not overshadow the brother and sisterhood we are bound together by. My liberal Democratic beliefs do not make me any less of a Catholic, and it's time we recognize that, with the right attitude, harmony can be found between religion and politics.

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