Because of my life experiences, I am able to realize the spiritual treasures that exist even in the most painful circumstances and losses. I have learned to accept the reality of “what is.” And every day I remind myself of this beautiful and inspiring quote by Eleanor Roosevelt, “You have to accept whatever comes your way. And the only important thing is to meet it with courage and the best you have to give.”
I have found that acceptance of what is, is very different from resignation. I recently came across this quote by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that says it very well, “For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is to let it rain.” When you say “no” to changes that come in life – particularly the unwanted, uninvited changes – your energy is directed towards resistance and this creates stress. “No” doesn’t stop the rain.
When you say “yes” to whatever comes, your energy is freed to up to act and consciously respond. So, one of my strategies in dealing with change is to try to get to acceptance. I focused on that when my twin sister, Karen, first got sick. My initial response of course was, “no, not again, not to her.” But then I tried to see that the sooner I got to “yes”, the sooner I could begin focusing on Karen’s needs and doing what I needed to do for her as she faced this devastating and terminal illness.
Virginia Satir once said, “Life is not the way it’s supposed to be. It’s the way that it is. And how we cope with it is what makes the difference.” To me, this is what my mentor Mr. Butler was trying to teach me and others so many years ago. No matter what happens, we are left with that one true human freedom, our ability to choose what we will do in response.