Don’t Argue With Reality

Sometimes, as the saying goes, “bad things happen to good people”. Sometimes bad things happen to bad people, too. And sometimes, good things happen to good and bad people. The reality is, things happen to people – good or bad are mostly judgment calls. Accepting where you are in life means you don’t argue with reality. It’s the first step to change what you can.

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Accept Struggle

Difficulties are a part of life. Facing and overcoming difficulties is part of growth. Accept that struggles are inevitable. It is the first step for dealing with them when they arise.

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accept struggle

Accepting My Struggle With Shyness

I am painfully shy. I am uncomfortable in crowds and especially in groups of people I don’t know very well. Some of you may be surprised by this revelation, although some of you will not be. It began about the time I reached junior high. I often got tongue-tied when called upon in class so I rarely spoke up. I avoided parties. And I didn’t have many friends. It was difficult to get to know others and for them to get to know me. In fact, some of the older guys at my school gave me a nickname: “Oddball”.

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A Blessing In The Lesson

True acceptance brings perspective and power. Power to make a change. Or the power to face a situation you cannot change. And perspective to know which it is.

“What you resist, persists.” ~ Carl Jung

The First Step

A daughter has a stroke and her life changes forever. A loved one is diagnosed with cancer. A son is stricken with a debilitating disease and becomes disabled. A spouse has become disoriented by dementia and has to be placed in long-term care. A child commits suicide.

How does one cope with difficult life changes such as these? How do you begin to put the pieces of your life back together? One of the first steps is acceptance.

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Choose Acceptance

Denying pain, hurt or disappointment brings suffering. Accepting reality is a necessary step toward change, if change is possible. To choose acceptance is to acknowledge that some things cannot be changed and to learn to be at peace about that.

A Missed Opportunity

On most Wednesdays around 11:00 AM, you can find my wife, Rebecca, and me doing our weekly grocery shopping at our local store. (Taking advantage of the senior discount, of course.) However, recently we had an unusual experience.

When we arrived at our usual entrance to the store’s parking area, we found that it was blocked by a police car. We drove towards the next entrance but we observed that all the entrances to the parking area were blocked by police.

We followed a couple of cars toward the back of the store and discovered that a back entrance was open and unguarded. So all three cars went in that way.

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Let Go Of Fear

Is Fear standing between you and your goal? Move toward the fear. Take tiny steps and you can overcome the obstacle of fear that is keeping you from your goal.

“If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” – Henry Ford

Limited By Fear

I don’t know when I picked up the fear of speaking in front of people. I remember when I was a young teenager leading Scout meetings as a senior patrol leader and enjoying it. And I remember taking a turn in English class leading the vocabulary lessons and feeling quite competent. But somewhere along the way, by the time I finished high school, I developed a paralyzing fear of standing up and speaking in front of a crowd.

How bad was the fear? Well, I selected my initial major in college based on the fact that it was one of the few that did not require a public speaking class. My fear limited my choices.

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Tapping The Power Of Acceptance

A big part of healing and recovery is accepting what has taken place. Acceptance is an important first step for dealing with adversity and moving forward with your life.

A Fable About Acceptance

A raven, black as midnight, spied a Swan and envied her feathers because they were white as pure snow. He decided that if he lived as the Swan did, his feathers would become white.

So the Raven left his home in the woods and flew away to the lake where the Swan lived. He swam and dived in the water and ate the water plants, just like the Swan.

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After Acceptance

“It is certainly true that, when you accept your resentment, moodiness, anger, and so on, you are no longer forced to act them out blindly, and you are less likely to project them onto others. But I wonder if you are not deceiving yourself. When you have been practicing acceptance for a while, as you have, there comes a point when you need to go on to the next stage, where those negative emotions are not created anymore. If you don’t, your ‘acceptance’ just becomes a mental label that allows your ego to continue to indulge in unhappiness and so strengthen your separation from other people, your surroundings, your here and now.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

Welcome to . . . Holland?!?

When my younger daughter was 6, she had a stroke. At age eight, while the doctors were still trying to decide what was wrong, she had another one, bigger and badder, that left her with a number of deficits to overcome. She had to relearn how to walk, how to talk, and how to use her left hand instead of her right. As you can imagine, this was a devastating blow to her and to our family. Continue reading “After Acceptance”

Step Out Of The Pit

“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” ~ Marcus Aurelius

Each of us has Teachers that come into our lives at various times. Each of these Teachers brings an important lesson. Until you learn the lesson, that Teacher comes back again and again. Until you learn the lesson, you can’t move on.

The Farmer and the Donkey

I once heard a story about an old donkey who had outlived it’s usefulness. It was too old to work any more. The farmer who owned the donkey thought about having it put down, but just couldn’t bring himself to do so. However, one day the donkey fell into a deep pit and couldn’t get out. “Well,” thought the farmer, “this is the end. I’ll just fill in the pit with dirt and bury this poor old donkey.” Continue reading “Step Out Of The Pit”

Take Two

“You don’t learn from successes; you don’t learn from awards; you don’t learn from celebrity; you only learn from wounds and scars and mistakes and failures. And that’s the truth.” ~ Jane Fonda

It seemed fool-proof. An easy $100. The carnival side-show barker had lured me, girl friend in tow, over to his game. Ten wooden bottles stacked in a pyramid. All I had to do was pay $1.00 and knock over all 10 bottles — ten times. If I missed and didn’t knock them over, my ante doubled . . . $2, $4, $8, etc. But I figured I could easily knock over the 10 bottles ten times in 10 or 12 or 14 tries. My “investment” would be well under the $100 I was sure to win. So I paid my $1.00 and tossed the ball. Knocked over all but 1. No worries. I was only down $2.00 and I was sure I’d get them all from now on. Continue reading “Take Two”

Suffering Is Optional

Have you ever admired an exquisite pearl necklace, each lustrous pearl perfect in shape and shimmering iridescence? Do you know how pearls are made? Natural pearls are created when an irritant, a grain of sand or a bit of stone, gets inside the shell of a mollusk. The mollusk reacts to the irritant by coating it with a substance to reduce the irritation. Over time, as layer upon layer is added, a pearl is formed. The source of a natural pearl is irritation. The mollusk responds to the irritation by creating something of beauty and value.

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