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Positively Speaking: Acceptance


By Toby Moore

For Capital Region Independent Media

Toby Moore

Life sometimes goes differently than planned.

Maybe there was construction on the freeway and you had to take another route; in the process, you probably got a little annoyed, possibly a little road rage.   

Perhaps you didn’t get the promotion at work; you’ve worked hard for years and made all the right moves only to have another employee steal it from you. You’ve been soaking in the bitterness ever since.

Have you ever been in a relationship and behaved in a manner that you hoped would elicit a specific response, and when the opposite happened, you were sad, depressed or angry?

All of the unknowns in life can cause anxiety about the outcome of any situation. If you’re like me, whenever there is any doubt about a particular outcome, it gets even more stressful as I try to prevent these scenarios from happening in the first place.

When I’m worried or upset about the possibility of a bad outcome, I become terrified of what might happen if I’m not in control.

All of us feel the need to be in control of some aspects of our life. In my personal life, I’ve experienced a lot of anger and frustration by attempting to control things I have no control over.

Life has a habit of getting in the way. We can make the most detailed plans, but as the saying goes, “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry!”

We all want things to happen a certain way, and it’s unnerving when something doesn’t go as planned. If you’re used to having a lot of control and things aren’t going as planned, it can bring despair, leaving you overwhelmed and unable to cope.

Negative emotions are uncomfortable and sometimes they help guide us down the right path in life, but there are more times when negative emotions are counterproductive and self-destructive.

How many times has something happened that was outside your control and it ruined the rest of your day? How many times has an annoyance turned into resentment and bitterness?

It’s good to plan; it’s good to think of everything and try to make things go perfectly, but if they don’t, do we have to let it upset us? Is it healthy to be so controlling?

According to studies, people who try to control too much tend to be more anxious than those who don’t. They tend to have less satisfaction when things go their way and are more devastated when things don’t go according to plan.

Does it have to be this way? Thankfully it doesn’t! We can practice the art of letting go, otherwise called acceptance.

Letting go of control is hard to do for many reasons, but it becomes a lot easier when we realize we are only in control of ourselves and not everything else.

When something outside of your control happens, does it make sense to get angry and frustrated? Does it serve some strategic purpose? It most likely does not. So, what is the next best option? Let it go.

Acceptance doesn’t mean you have to like the result; it doesn’t mean you’re letting other people treat you like a pushover or allowing bad things to happen. It means letting go of the things we cannot control.

The practice of acceptance allows you to let go of your adverse reaction to the uncontrollable and will enable you to channel your energy more constructively.

Acceptance allows you to change your focus from what you think should have happened to “What should I do now?”

Acceptance allows you to live in the moment without worrying about the past or future.

People who practice acceptance tend to feel more peaceful and relaxed, are better prepared for the unexpected, and have a better connection with others.

If things don’t go as planned this holiday season, just let it go. It’s easy to attach ourselves to a specific outcome, choosing to get upset over things we have no control over. It’s more rewarding to do our best and prepare for success, and if things don’t go as planned, try again, and if you can’t, then LET IT GO. 

Toby Moore is a columnist, the star of Emmy-nominated “A Separate Peace,” and the CEO of Cubestream Inc.

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