Why we have to accept the things we cannot change

The hard fact is that you’ll not find inner peace until you accept the offending people or situations as they are. But “acceptance” does not mean that you have to like the behavior, condone it, or even ignore it.  Just accept that “it is what it is.”

Some folks spend much of their time trying to change the things they can’t possibly change. Seemingly, they can’t simply accept disappointments as they are. So, they coerce, threaten, scold, manipulate, plead, beg, bribe, pout, and use any other approach that might make the situation better—only to see things grow progressively worse.

Peace of mind occurs when you learn to distinguish between those things that you cannot change and those you can. When you admit that there are people, places, things, and situations over which you are completely powerless, those things begin to lose their control over you.

Instead, focus on the things you can change, like your mindset for revenge, marinating in self-pity, anxiety, fear, or other destructive attitudes.

For more information on acceptance, please see: Alcoholics Anonymous; The Big Book, 4th edition, page 417.

Action Step: On a scale of 1–10, with 10 being the best, score how well you were able to accept life’s ugly realities this week. Determine how you can do better next week.

This is an excerpt from my book, 9 Critical Steps to Take in a Mental Health Crisis. To find out more, please click here.


Hi, I'm Jim. I've been through the emotional wringer. I've been a successful pastor and leader and a loving father, but I've also been suicidally depressed. I'll teach you the techniques I used to heal myself, and give you the tools to reclaim your life and move forward!

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