Do you ever wonder why some people grumble their way through their lives and others seem to be infected with happiness? Why some people seem so negative and others roll with the punches and focus on the bright side?
This topic comes up frequently in my sessions with clients. People wonder why they got stuck with their (seemingly) crappy lives and why they don’t have what everyone else has. They feel like they did something wrong that caused them to get exactly what they didn’t want from life.
I used to wonder the same thing about myself. I did NOT want my life. How did I get stuck with chronic pain and illness while other people got to go jogging, hiking, socializing, to concerts, to work full-time, and on exciting trips like safaris, while I’m was left lying on my couch, day after day?
The “why me?” attitude is a slippery slope. It leads directly to victimhood and the “poor me” syndrome. We tend to ask “why me?” when we are not willing to our accept our lives the way they are. We don’t want what we have, and we don’t want to accept what we have because we want better and we want more.
But what would happen if we were to accept our lives just the way they are right now? If we accepted that this was the life we were meant to have? I’ll tell you what would happen. We would feel a whole lot happier. I know this because it happened to me. When I finally accepted that I had a chronic health condition I was no longer fighting against the unfairness of it or feeling like a victim. It was a huge relief. My shift in perspective from victimhood/resistance to acceptance changed everything for me.
When you stop playing the victim, you have a lot more power to make things happen and create change. When you accept your life as it is, you will have a foundation you can start to build on. If you can’t accept where you are you can’t start to create more in your life because you’re always going to be wishing you were somewhere else, and thinking that until you are somewhere else you can't start getting what you want. This is not true.
Accepting what is doesn't mean it's going to stay like that forever, it's not, everything changes. But accepting what is allows you to be clear and realistic about your starting point. Once you accept where you are and start creating what you want, soon you’re not going to be where you started out anymore. This is why acceptance is the first step to happiness.