“Accept what is, let go of what was, have faith in what will be.”
Being seriously ill or injured can turn your life upside down. More than anything, you just want to get better and resume your normal activities. But what if that’s not possible? What if you’re diagnosed with a chronic illness that has no cure?
When the painful symptoms are here to stay, you have little choice but to learn to accept your new reality. But how do you do that when every waking moment is a cruel reminder that your life is not what you thought it would be like?
Over the last decade, there’s been a strong societal focus on “never giving up”, on keeping going no matter what, on fighting like hell for what you want. And sure, that can be a motivating mindset to deal with challenges like getting a hard-earned degree, training for a marathon or losing those last pounds.
But that mentality doesn’t necessarily help when someone’s faced with horrible circumstances they have little control over, like losing a loved one, surviving a traumatic experience or becoming chronically ill. No matter how much you don’t want it to be true or how badly you want to get better, willpower won’t help you change the situation you’re in.
Many people mistakenly believe that accepting a painful reality means you’re surrendering. That it’s a sign of weakness to stop fighting the truth; that you’re a quitter for no longer struggling every day to get your old life back. They’re wrong.
Acceptance is not the same as giving up.