If you can’t change it, make peace with it
I was speaking to someone last week about their horrific two hour drive to and from work and she said something that made a huge amount of sense. She explained that whilst it is far from ideal, she doesn’t like to get herself stressed or annoyed about her commute because then that would make her feel worse. She is a really upbeat person and that mindset clearly serves her well. Someone else in her shoes could spend their lives wishing their circumstances were different (yet not doing anything about it) and getting worked up and angry which would undoubtedly have a knock-on effect to other areas of their life and make them feel downright miserable day in and day out.
This is actually something I’ve thought quite a lot about recently. I’ve had situations this year that could very easily got me in real spiral of frustration. Lately I’ve started to realise that there are some things (and people) that I can’t control. Using up my headspace stewing over such situations makes me feel exhausted and drained and why would I do that to myself?
We can’t always control the cause of the frustration but we can control our reaction to it.
Making peace with your reality
When faced with a situation or aspect of your life which isn’t ideal it often boils down to having two choices – you either change it or accept it.
What do you gain if you spend the majority of your waking hours wishing for something different? Maybe changing it isn’t an option, or you’ve tried to change it but to no avail, what then? That’s when making peace with it is the best thing you can do for your own sanity.
I’ll give you an example from my own life…I’ve lived away from home from the age of 16 apart from a few stints back home (uni holidays, between jobs etc) and always knew that I’d, one day, move back home to be near my family. Things haven’t turned out this way though as three years ago I moved to Birmingham to be with my now husband as this is where his work is, and will be for the foreseeable future. I obviously had the option not to go to Birmingham, and I like to think he wouldn’t have dumped me, but in many ways the move made sense so we went for it.
I have one part of my brain that, on occasion, starts to imagine living back home with lifelong friends and my lovely family on the doorstep but I try not to let these thoughts take over as the reality is that this isn’t a feasible option. I’ve embraced the situation and focus on the positives, and there are many of them.
We are sometimes confronted with situations which are far from ideal, but for one reason or another, there isn’t a workable alternative or solution, so making peace with the situation is the kindest thing you can do for yourself. I’m not saying this is easy to do, it can be really hard, but it can be so worth it and better than the alternative which is letting a situation eat you up inside. Being miserable and bitter about something you can’t change is a choice.
Perhaps you are reading this thinking there is a part of your life that you want to make peace with but don’t know how because you’ve clung to it so long. You may be wondering how you make peace with this and where you start. Write it in a notebook and put it away in a drawer and let it be or visualise yourself putting it in a box and shipping it off to sea (it sounds a bit weird, but visualisation can be powerful and can really work)
Focus instead on the positives in your life – the things that really bring you joy. Again, write a list of these things but instead of locking them away have them in sight – on your wall, desktop or bedside table.
Focusing on the good can make the not-so-good fade into the distance.
By having a really good shot at making peace with something you can’t change you’ll notice a shift in your mindset and may find that by taking this approach things fall into alignment and your ideal scenario manifests itself. I truly believe that there is a better chance of this happening if your mindset is that of peace and acceptance as opposed to a constant struggle with and resistance to your reality.
If you have something you’d like to change in your life, or make peace with, but don’t know where to start, I offer one off coaching sessions to set you on the right path and would love to hear from you.
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