Hello there! 🙂 I’ve learned something extremely valuable recently that is share-worthy. The concept comes from this familiar quote by Reinhold Niebuhr:
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”
This is the focus of what I’m beginning to grasp the value in:
“Accept the things you cannot change.”
I’ve heard that idea many times before and previously took it as good advice, but the true importance of the point has recently clicked with me. I feel like my soul is able to fully see and understand the significance of the instruction. It required a very hard lesson to understand the value in accepting the things we cannot change. I hope others can learn from my story rather than figuring it out the hard way. The way that I learned is just a glimpse of the many things that can and will happen to us, good and bad, however unchangeable.
I have been dealing with a particularly challenging financial ordeal, which in the end of, I will have paid $4,000.00 plus throughout the span of a year for an apartment that I don’t live in or have any use for. The most money I have ever made in a year is $8,000.00, which means the best case scenario would be getting to ‘keep’ 50% of my income after paying rent and electricity for a place I don’t live. There are many little details involved that seemed to cause way too much discomfort, but I’ll leave those out and share the basics. I lived in an apartment for 11 months, resigned the lease for the next year, and then, BAM. Life happened and I found myself moving out shortly after resigning the lease for the 2nd year. At the time, my roommates and I decided the place would be sub leased (meaning 3 other people would move in in our place, would be added to the lease along with us, and would pay the rent and utilities.), no biggie! Needless to say, things didn’t go the way I expected. Granted, it is by choice that I don’t live there, but I had to choose the lesser of the sucks. One of the 3 of us didn’t move out as planned which made finding a sub-lease nearly impossible. I can now see that I hung onto that ‘nearly’ for far too long. I attempted many ways to fix the problem so that I wouldn’t have to spend the majority of my income on this place that I didn’t live, but all attempts failed.
Financial stability is something I have always struggled with. While I lived in the apartment for the 1st year I was often broke or nearly broke, which was a bummer, but it was worth it because I had a place to live of my own to show for it. I had something of great worth in return for all the money I was paying. After moving back to my parents’ house and witnessing how it all played out, the inability to change the circumstances drove me crazy. The thought of work and money began to manifest an abundance of anger and resentment, let alone writing out the checks each month. I even have had to pay late fees a few times. It was hard enough to always be on time while I was living there. Each month I made an extra trip to the apartment complex to turn in my checks, and each time it seemed to make me even angrier. The anger caused going to work twice as hard knowing many of the hours I would work and the money I made from doing so, would be spent for nothing. A couple times I imagined myself getting a baseball bat from the garage and just smashing things, I may have even done it once. 😉 Sometimes I would just cry. I was angry at myself for being so angry, and I was disappointed in myself for letting money have so much control over me. I had to keep track of my everyday spending to be sure that I had enough money for rent each month, which made the tribulation very hard to escape from. This rough road has continued for almost a year now. It’s currently early June, and our lease is up August 9th. We got an offer from the complex to end the lease a month early which would be a miracle. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping for the best, but now I know that if it doesn’t happen the way I prefer, it is out of my control and to moan and groan about the unchangeable circumstances would be silly and fruitless.
I learned how important it is to freely accept the things we cannot change because of the abundance of anger, pain and suffering that I experienced by not doing so. Now, I just need to put this knowledge into practice. Not just involving the situation with my apartment, but with anything and everything that I don’t have the power to change. To accept the things we cannot change is to be content with the way things are. I had a lot of trouble accepting that the way things are, are the way things are. This situation is something that I cannot change, control, or fix, and trying to do so rather than accepting it for what it is, caused more turbulence than I realized. It would have been nice to fathom this concept earlier so that I could have avoided all the discomfort, but I didn’t, and that’s okay. What you don’t know, you don’t know.
It’s ironic because I remember trying to figure out what ‘lesson’ I was supposed to learn from all of it. I definitely didn’t see it then. I thought, ‘Well, I guess you should be able to tell the future before you sign a lease!’, and ‘next time I’ll think more before I sign a lease’. Apparently these lessons didn’t quite cut it for me. I will definitely put more thought into a big decision like signing a lease, but I was disappointed thinking that there was nothing more valuable to learn especially after such a pain in the butt of a situation. Little did I know. 😉
Are there unchangeable situations in your life that you have trouble accepting? Try to imagine what it would feel like to be able to truly accept the circumstance for what it is. The relentless desire to be in control would disappear, the uncomfortable thoughts and feelings toward the situation would vanish, and you’d be able to see more clearly the good that comes from the situation. If you put focus onto the negative aspects of an unchangeable situation, you will see and feel negativity. If you focus on the positive aspects of an unchangeable situation, you will see and feel positivity. It seems like it would be easy, but it can be very tricky. For some reason our egotistic human nature tricks us into feeling a lot of ways that we don’t have to. But once you know, you know. It’s up to us to put the truth we know into practice. Life is quite a journey.
All are welcome to reply and share whatever your heart desires, I love to hear what others think. – Can you relate to my story or experience? Do you agree with me? Let me know! Have you personally found value in accepting things that you cannot change? Do you completely disagree with the concept? If so, that’s more than okay and I’d love to hear why?
Thank you all for reading, and I hope your day is filled with peace. 🙂
Love to all,