Day Twenty-One: Acceptance

Accept what we cannot change

Today’s challenge is focused on acceptance. Sometimes we find ourselves in situations that are challenging and try to change how a person acts in that situation. We want to conform a circumstance into something we see as better. I hate to break it to you but we cannot control other people’s actions or decisions. Period. If something is not going right, for example, a co-worker continuously judges other people’s appearance and takes credit for other people’s work, you cannot control their actions. What you can do is accept that is this person’s choice to act with dishonesty and choose whether you will allow it to stress you out or to take action. Taking action is setting and maintaining healthy boundaries to let your co-worker know you will not participate in their actions and communicate that you will now allow them to take credit for your work. (And for the record, this is not a real example, just a spontaneous example.)

An additional example is traffic. Traffic is infuriating, oh so VERY infuriating, and stressful. We cannot do anything about traffic itself. No matter how many times we drill into the horn, swear at other drivers or position your car so your brights are reflecting off of the painstakingly slow driver’s car in front of you to temporarily blind them...um, I made that last one up, maybe, possibly…it will not change the state of traffic. However, what can you change is your reaction. I find it difficult not to get frustrated, it happens to most of us so I won’t tell you to, “just don’t get mad.” That does not work with me. So, accepting the situation as it is with the knowledge that you cannot change it, is the first action. The second action is to get creative and figure out ways to make sitting in the car a little less stressful. A couple of suggestions could be to listen to your favorite music and sing like you’re on television, listen to audio books or podcasts. Maybe if an opportunity for a work from home job arose, you could consider that. You get my point, I’m sure. Acceptance of knowing there are things we cannot change will bring us inner peace. Knowing when to take realistic action to change things we can is where our power lies.

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