I’m writing today for the mothers and fathers who have young children and are completely worn out. The husbands and wives who work until late at night and have no time for each other. The families who are at their wits end with trying to keep everything together.
My heart goes out to you greatly.
I was having a conversation with my dear sister in Brooklyn (she sometimes feels in that category with three young children) and I just wanted to share something we talked about which seemed to resonate with her.
I told her that in a circumstance or lifestyle that is not ideal, you really only have two options that can help to relieve you:
1. You can learn to ACCEPT your circumstance as it is.
This takes a ton, a TON of internal work. It may even turn into your life’s work. Because acceptance is real only if you really are able to feel peace in the moment. It’s only real if you no longer feel a horrible resistance or resentment towards your situation. It’s only real if your situation no longer nags at you every moment of the day. Acceptance is real when you can say – I know this situation is not changing anytime soon – or ever – and I will choose to react to this in a better way. I will choose to make the most of what I’ve got. I will use my limited energy to find ways to have gratitude, compassion, forgiveness, or love instead of resisting what is happening.
Being able to do this is one of the most powerful things I know of. Once I started actively trying to accept my life – that’s when things changed. I’ve actively worked to accept over a decade of infertility, the end of a marriage, and many other losses on many levels. Recently I was working on accepting the circumstances I shared about our blog. I feel so confident that if you can come to a place of acceptance for things you cannot change, you can be FREE of the chronic pain, the stings in your heart, and the feelings of despair.
There is another option, in some cases. You can…
2. CHANGE your circumstance.
To really change things, it may take a LOT of time. Sometimes you don’t even know how to change things and you feel stuck, so you have to get crazy creative to find a solution. And almost always, any change requires HUGE sacrifices because to meet one priority, you often have to sacrifice another super duper important priority! Ah, it can be so hard! We’re talking stuff like taking a leap of faith. Deciding you will move forward with or possibly end a relationship. Choosing a different job/career or simply trying hard to find a career, period. Saying no (or yes) to commitments huge and small. Moving to a different city or country. Possibly downgrading or upgrading your house or car. Getting a nanny. Or letting your nanny go. Postponing or quickening your schooling or your career. Moving closer to or away from family. Hiring a housekeeper. Starting a baby-sitting coop. Canceling classes or activities – or signing up for a class. Having a family member or intern or student move in with you temporarily. Working from home or getting a work space. It is seriously nuts trying to figure this all out and make life improvements! Especially because we usually want it all fixed NOW. And well, that takes us back to acceptance. If we can tap into acceptance while our changes are in motion, life can be better than ever. 🙂
If you’d like to share, are you currently working on either accepting a circumstance or changing a circumstance? It’s always uniting to hear what people are going through. Somehow there is a beautiful sisterhood (& brotherhood) present when you know you’re not alone.
P.S. After reading this post, Danny said it reminded him of the beautiful Serenity Prayer that is used in AA meetings. It truly would seem that a great portion of life is about drifting between these two options, and learning when to favor one or the other.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
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