Life is made up of a series of peaks and valleys—trials and victories. Fighting against the ebb and flow of what is beyond our control is as exhausting and futile as trying to manipulate the ocean’s tide. What will be will be, and there is very little over which we have any control.
Life’s punches hit out of nowhere, upsetting normal routines and predictability and fall into the “accept the things I cannot change” category of Reinhold Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer. Loved ones die, leaving us behind in a state of shock and bereavement. Sickness strikes, interrupting the best-laid plans. Cars and appliances break down forcing expensive repair and replacement costs. Jobs are lost due to downsizing, outsourcing, or other reasons beyond the scope of our preferences and decisions. Relationships end regardless of how much we don’t want them to. Such is life.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said, “Into each life, some rain must fall.” Sometimes it is more than some rain. Sometimes it is an overwhelming flood and none of us wields the power to control the intensity of the downpour. Since these things are inevitable, the thing that matters most is how we choose to respond to them.
Here are some things to consider when life deals a hard punch and you find yourself in a particularly rainy season.
Accept reality. – Don’t overcomplicate the obvious. Even though we would prefer to pretend the storm isn’t raging, false pretense will never alter the truth. As acceptance is allowed entrance into our hearts and minds, internal peace will come despite external circumstances. Acceptance removes the inward struggle and is beautifully conducive to a simple life.
Accept limitations. – Coming to terms with the fact that what is happening is beyond our own power to remedy will not take the pain away, but it will relieve and lift unnecessary feelings of responsibility. Sometimes we just can’t change or fix things, but come to find out, we were never intended to. Discovering this truth is liberating.
Accept contentment. – Believe that the pieces are falling into place according to a design far greater than your own. Don’t try to reopen closed chapters. They were closed for reasons beyond what you can see. Don’t continue to try to walk through closed doors. Move on. Trust that all things are working together for your good, and changes were necessary. Don’t fight against the plan. Relax and rest in the knowledge that things are happening exactly as they should be.
Even though we often squirm during our times of severe trials, we can Coe to see that struggling against what was meant to be only makes things more difficult. Trust is a learned practice, and as we survive each situation, we began to squirm less and trust more, knowing there were mindsets that could enhance and help us on our moments of tough learning
We’re all are still learning. were all may squirm a little, but I will say that we learn to squirm less over the course of our lives. Learning to roll with instead of squirm against life’s punches contributes greatly to the simple, minimal life we so cherish and love to live.
Peace and Love, Jim