If you want real freedom and true joy, master the art of acceptance. Most of us think we have far more control over life than we do. We live in huge denial of how powerless we really are. We believe we can control what other people think, say, feel and do. We believe life can be manipulated to our liking. We expend a tremendous amount of energy trying to do both. We do this to feel safe. People, however, are not pawns and life is unpredictable. Not one single day comes without challenges – some big and some small. People (your partner, kids, co-workers, parents, friends) say things you don’t want them to say. They do things you don’t want them to do. Events turn out differently than you desire. Your options? You can either try to control other people and life or surrender to other people and life. By surrendering I don’t mean giving up. I mean doing your best within the confines of what’s possible. Change what you can, accept what you can’t and ultimately, trust life to bring you what you need. Why is giving up control so important? In your quest to control other people and life itself, you lose your connection to both. Connection is what gives life meaning. Connection is what gives us happiness, peace, freedom and joy. More control means less connection. How connected do you want to be? How much control are you willing to surrender? Ask yourself this question often: “is this within my control?” If not, let it go!
A huge part of life is beyond your control. When you try to control people or life, you disconnect from both. Change what you can. Accept what you can’t. This is your pathway to freedom and joy.