Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Accepting your lot in life

I am feeling a lot better today, much more rested. Well I guess I should I slept away almost all of yesterday and still had no problems sleeping last night.

I have decided it is time for me to be revamping some of my thinking. Example, I do have shall we say a gimpy heart. a brain tumor, diabetes…… All of which puts me in the position of being permanently disabled and returning to work is never going to be an option. Many physical activities are also no longer an option for me. Hey, I even have one of those handicap parking things for the car. Now anyone that has ever tried to find a parking spot in a busy mall has to appreciate that as being a bonus.

All of this physical disability stuff just conjures up negative connotations. So going forward I am just going to consider myself and refer to myself as being retired. I am a gentleman of leisure just relaxing and enjoying life. There are always 2 ways you can look at everything and this is the way I am choosing.

I know I have written often about the 2 ways you can look at everything and I am sure I will continue to do so. It makes up such an important part of the way I try to look at things. I find it truly does make my life easier to deal with. It all ties back to the Serenity Prayer, “accept the things you can not change.”

I like to illustrate my point with my good old traffic jam scenario. Imagine you are on your way across town to a very important meeting. The meeting is important so you leave giving yourself ample time to get there. Unexpectedly you find yourself caught in a traffic jam. Possibly an accident ahead or what ever but you are unexpectedly caught. You are stuck and there is just nothing you can do about it. You keep checking your watch, seeing the minutes tick away before this important meeting is to be held. You don’t have a cell phone with you so you can’t even call ahead to reschedule.

Here we go with the 2 ways you can look at or I suppose accept things in your life as they happen.

Way #1: You can keep checking your watch, getting yourself more and more frustrated with each passing minute. You bang the steering wheel, honk the horn all to no avail. You work yourself up into a real dither so much so that by the time traffic does start to move you are an emotional wreck, exhausted and very upset. You have worked yourself up to such an emotional mess inside that when you do get to the meeting, I would have to question if you are still able to function at your top level.

Way #2: Recognize and accept the circumstance as being out of your control. You are stuck in traffic and the is just nothing you can do about it. It is to bad you will be late for or even miss the meeting but it is out of your control so you just relax and enjoy the down time. You meditate, listen to music or just relax and think of your family. Appreciate, enjoy this unexpected bit of free time in your day. You arrive at the meeting late but are totally relaxed and on top of your game.

Which ever way we chose to react didn’t change the overall situation, in that it didn’t get traffic moving any faster. All it did was change how we felt internally angry and frustrated or calm and relaxed. Plus, I suppose there is a further consideration, how did our frame of mind affect the out come of the meeting based on what our performance would or could have been.

Recently, I received a very good question in a comment left here. It asked if I really was willing to just accept my medical conditions. This is a good question and the answer relates to my definition of the word accept. I have medical conditions as such that I see no alternative but to accept, they medically proven facts. I sought second and then third opinions before I accepted the facts as being facts.

OK, I have accepted my conditions so now what? As with everything, I have 2 ways of looking at the situation.

Way #1: I can become angry and bitter making myself miserable. I could even become angry with God, questioning why He is picking on me. How many people get stuck with a bad heart to the point of heart failure, plus a brain tumor, plus diabetes, plus epilepsy, plus sleep apnea, plus thyroid condition, plus carpal tunnel, plus peripheral neurapothy. Why me? Don’t I have a right to be angry at the world. Lash out at all around me, because I am being treated so unfairly.

Way #2: Accept that I do have these conditions. Accepting doesn’t mean I have to like it. Doesn’t mean I am not going do do everything I can to live with them. Doesn’t mean I am not going to do everything the doctors tell me to. But, it also doesn’t mean I have to become angry and bitter, lashing out at God or anyone around me. To me accepting just means I am going to do everything I can to live a fulfilling life while dealing with these conditions. I am choosing to live with them, accept they are there and get on with life as best I can. There is so much in life to be enjoyed and so much more I have left to enjoy.

Either option doesn’t change my condition. My heart is still the same irregardless. No actually that is wrong, stress is something I must try to avoid. Option #1 would most certainly cause a lot of stress and very possibly hasten by passing, don’t want that. The end result between the 2 options is hope I have felt internally. I want to feel good, so I choose option #2.

I wish everyone would just stop and think about this. In our daily lives there are always 2 ways you can look at everything. Life is meant to be lived, to be enjoyed. How much stress are we causing ourselves needlessly over things we just can not change. There is the flip side to that coin also, how much stress are we causing ourselves by not changing the things that we can.

It takes me right back to the good old Serenity Prayer.

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.


6 Responses to Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Accepting your lot in life

  1. Laura says:

    Bill, a few years back I had that traffic epiphany when I was stuck in traffic on a bus. I could feel the tension flow out of me as I just put down the anger and frustration and just flowed with things as they were presented to me. It’s something that I have, to some degree, tried to hold onto–but it isn’t always easy (what is?).
    All the best to you.

    Hi Laura, you are right about how just trying to relax isn’t always easy. You have experienced it so you know you can do it. Just keep working on it, it does get easier.
    Thanks for the visit and the comment.

  2. Mel says:

    And it continues……

    “Living one day at a time;
    enjoying one moment at a time;
    accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
    Taking, as He did, this sinful world
    as it is, not as I would have it:
    Trusting that He will make all things
    right if I surrender to His Will;
    that I may be reasonably happy in this life
    and supremely happy with Him forever in the next.” Amen

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve run through that prayer during the course of any given day….especially when I was convinced that acceptance meant that I had to LIKE what was going on, that I wasn’t to have any opinion, thinking or feelings about the circumstances. K….LOL I was probably looking for a fight THEN, too, huh?

    Wisepersoninmylife gave me “There’s more than one way to look at things, kid.” as my very first ‘lesson’….And it’s been etched in my brain since–which has proven to be a very, very good thing.
    Truth be told, I judged awesome things as ‘bad’ simply because they’d not come to fruitation yet…..(couldn’t see for the life of me ANY good that possibly could come from crappy circumstances…)I got better at judging people less….and got worse at judging circumstances.
    Go figure…..

    Ya know the glorious tihng about that very first lesson….is I have the power of choice and I don’t haffta buy into other people’s stuff. NO one gets to choose my attitude for me BUT me. It’s mine–and I get that power of choice.
    And for a control freak like me….LOL….that’s an awesome thing.
    Ain’t no body ‘pissin’ in my Cheerios’ no matter HOW hard they try….cuz I just won’t let ’em.

    Ummmm…….I won’t let ’em TODAY?

    *sigh* There’s another one that I don’t do perfectly either, dangitall…..

    Ah well.
    More practice!!!! 😉

    And I’m really, really, really glad you got some of that needed rest!
    *HUGE hugs*

    Mel, I thank you for sharing that beautiful prayer with us. The Wisepersoninmylife has good advise about always two ways to look at everything. Right on, such a good point about not buying to others problems. No one can spoil my day, I am the only one that can do that.
    Love your comments

  3. Richmond says:

    Oh my God. We are so the same. I only commute, but I know whenever I am gonna be late so I really try not to look at watch and just watch the sceneries on my bus’ window or just sleep while traveling. Or sometimes I think, maybe my guardian angel allow me to be late because maybe if ever I was a minute earlier I might get an accident or something.

    you bring up a very good point about the Guardian Angel. Things happen for a reason and it is not necessary for us to always know or understand what that reason is.
    Good point

  4. Simonne says:

    Wonderful post Bill. I’m so glad you sit in this mindset 🙂
    Sorry I haven’t been around in a while xox

    Simonne, so nice to hear from you. I do work on that mindset but at times fail miserable. I will keep working on it, practicing and I will get it better and better.
    Hope all is well with you.

  5. Irene says:

    Dear Bill,
    I’ve been thinking…seems to me that most of our personal problems come from the difference between the fantasy and the reality of our lives. I know I’d like the perfect kids and the white picket fence and the personal trainer and nutritionist and enough money to keep the worries away and for the house to be spiffy clean and organized by a slew of maids and gardeners–you know, all that “stuff”. The reality is that it is what it is and that only through my own efforts and determination will I find any happiness in it. I live and will remain in the reality of my life (whatever that is) so I’ve got to work hard to finish it well. Seek and ye shall find…
    Thanks for reminding me again of all that is important to me, Wiseman.

  6. Jason Hill says:

    Aloha Bill,

    Thank you for your insight in words. Your thoughts on acceptance have recently touched at least two people in Annapolis, MD and more to come. A friend is very ill and also has a webpage (www.yachtgratitude.com) where he linked to this journal entry. So that is how I got here and others will to.

    I spend time with some folks that find acceptance difficult. I will be sharing your thoughts on acceptance to do my part to try to help those folks struggling.


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