Acceptance Is A Journey
by Suzanne Zoglio, Ph.D.
“Just accept it,” we often hear, “it is what it is.” Usually these words are spoken when some horrific event has just appeared in your life. Perhaps you lost money in a bad investment, your candidate lost the election, a lover walked away, or an aging parent
passed on too soon. Many realities that come our way are difficult to accept…some more than others. Yet until we do so, we stay stuck in the muck of yesterday’s pain and disappointment. There is no moving on until we accept where we are. While we’re going through life as if
nothing really happened, licking our undeserved wounds, or railing in anger at the injustices meted out, we are blinded to opportunities for healing, love, and change. It is only after we accept our new reality that we can see all the good sitting right next to that which
pains us so.
In my experience, accepting life’s curve balls is less of a skill and more like a journey. Some might
be more adept travelers and move quickly down the road, while others may take a bit longer. But no matter how quickly we move, the road to acceptance is likely to include stops at “Couldn’t be,” “Why me,” and “Why this.” Let me share a personal example. When my husband and I
recently lost a sizeable investment in a small company run by someone we believed to be a bright, honest person, I spent a while in each place. It took years of work to save that investment and, if it had worked out, our retirement fund would be much stronger. All I could
think of at first was, “This couldn’t be.” Even when the company closed, I kept thinking that surely we would be saved –by a big-fish investor, a judge, or the courts. When that was not to be, I stumbled on to “Why me.” We did our homework, attended meetings, and met many
other smitten investors. How could we have been so wrong about someone? How could he betray so many friends and family? It’s here that anger kicked in. That crooked creep! Let’s sue the guy – no matter that there’s nothing left to attach. Just get revenge –which I fancied as
Actually anger is good stage when we experience loss. It’s a little more grounded than denial, and more empowering than the poor-me stage. I felt a surge of energy that motivated action. We met with other betrayed investors, consulted counsel, and heard
of the personal losses of the exec’s family. The support of others seemed to heal some pain. Feelings of anger, betrayal, blame, and fear subsided. I felt a shift inside. I had moved from “Can’t be,” through “Why me” and was now residing in a place called “Why this.” Maybe it
was a lesson, I reckoned: don’t take risks if you can’t afford to lose. Or, a reminder that being blessed with health and family is really the only dividend that matters. “It’s possible this has little to do with us,” I thought, “maybe we’re just bit players in someone else’s
core life drama.” In the end, after all the theorizing (which never really produced any satisfying answers), I felt another shift. “It just is,” I thought. Not life as I expected, but as it is. Finding a reason really wouldn’t matter much. Sometimes there is no apparent rhyme
or reason - it just is. I had arrived at my destination: acceptance. I can see now that some good did come out of the debacle. We’ve learned a few lessons on investing, strengthened relationships, and refocused on our real blessings. Acceptance is seeing more clearly…the now
© Copyright 2008 Suzanne Zoglio, Ph.D. All rights
Suzanne Zoglio, Ph.D.,
is a life-balance expert, author, and national lecturer. Through her writing, coaching, and seminars, she helps individuals and work teams reach their full potential. With a personal mission to nurture growth, she supports practices that lead to energy, empowerment, and the realization of meaningful goals.
Suzanne’s books include Recharge in Minutes and Create A Life That Tickles Your Soul (Named “Outstanding
Book of the Year” and “Most Life-Changing” in the Independent Publisher Book Awards).
TO "FEATURES" PAGE