Change what you can, and accept what you can’t. (24/05/2020)

I read this wise statement somewhere many years ago, but only started to understand its deep meaning and practice it in my life very recently. This has transformed my life and how I feel.

The first part is very easy to understand and do, at least for me that’s the case. I’m naturally inclined to take action to improve my life. Even when I have no idea what to do, I would go searching for the answer, normally through reading, as you would expect from a book worm like me.

It has served me very well. I have successfully changed my career and become a professional linguist. I have successfully lost about 10 kg of body weight (which is a lot considering my height is only about 1.6 m) and have been slim for over 15 years now. I have also successfully gotten rid of my emotional pain and become a much stronger, happier person with a lot more self-confidence as a result.

The second part of the statement totally goes against my nature. Because I am naturally stubby and strong willed. Therefore, in my natural state, I find it almost impossible to accept something which I don’t like, whether I can or can’t change it. As a result, I could not understand of the wisdom of the second part, let alone practising it, for a long time.

For example, I don’t like to be poor and not successful professionally, and I find it very difficult to accept the concept that where I am right here and now is perfect for my growth, therefore should be accepted unconditionally (which is a fundamental element of spiritual teaching).

I understood those words perfectly, but I just could not accept it emotionally and mentally. Because of that resistance, I was stuck and miserable. I was very unhappy with the situation I was in, but I couldn’t change it either.

Fortunately I didn’t give up because of that. I just kept going. I still read the spiritual materials I have collected over the years, as well as did meditation and positive affirmations every day.

To easy my resistance, I added a new statement to my daily affirmations. I affirmed to myself that I was willing to give up my resistance and accept what I don’t like but can’t change.

There wasn’t a sudden realisation. In stead, I experienced gradual improvement. As time passed on, the resistance I felt lessened, until one day I discovered that the resistance wasn’t there any more. I just accepted where I was at that moment. I still didn’t like it, but I didn’t resent it or feel bad about it anymore.

The release of that resistance has created so much space in my mind, and I don’t feel I am trapped or stuck any more. I literally feel a lot lighter. Only the word ‘liberation’ can touch the great feeling I feel!

Do you want to unstuck yourself? Then try to accept what you can’t change and focus on what you can.