A recent sermon at my church was about the conflict we have with fighting for change or accepting what is. We are taught to fight for and work hard for the things we want in life. The opposite — accepting what is happening in our life — seems wimpy in comparison. If we accept what is, aren’t we settling? Think about a time when you resisted something that was happening in your life. Did resisting make you happier? I’m quite sure that it made the situation even less tolerable.
I once knew a woman who was feeling stressed as a mother. As a divorced mom of two, she always seemed to feel conflicted. She loved her children very much and wanted to assist in shaping them into amazing human beings. She was nurturing and attentive to her children, but she was exhausted. The days her children would go to their dad’s house, she had mixed emotions of relief and sadness. Welcoming the break, only to be responsible for herself, she felt an emptiness and longed for the two boys she loved so dearly. She was resisting being a mom. This resistance made her miserable. I’m sure it made her children miserable as well.
She was given a task to imagine her life without them. What would her life look like? What would she do? How would she live? After several days of visualizing this ‘When I Rise, I Thrive’ ternate life, she realized this was an impossible task. She couldn’t imagine her life without her boys. It was in this moment of realization that she broke down into tears. It was in this moment she stopped resisting being a mother and moved into acceptance. In her acceptance of what was, she was able to find peace and happiness instantly. I know this to be true because this is my story.
Byron Katie, author of “Loving What Is,” explains that it is not our experiences that make us unhappy but our thoughts about the experiences. The thoughts of wanting things to be different cause us distress. Is there something in your life that you have been resisting? When you accept things the way they are, you will be happier instantly. Let go of the resistance. Choose acceptance and bring on peace.
This story originally appeared on When I Rise I Thrive