THE BLOG

Change and Acceptance on the Road to Happiness

21/07/2014 17:50 BST | Updated 19/09/2014 10:59 BST

There is no escaping it. Life is ever-changing. From moment to moment, day to day, month to month and year to year, we all experience change. Some changes are small and barely noticeable and others are monumental and life altering. Some changes we have control over, others not. And within this moveable feast, we may not have much choice about what changes occur, but we can choose how we respond to these changes and this makes all the difference. Attitude is indeed everything.

In my life, there have been times where I rallied against change, tried to influence outcomes where I had no domain and lamented when changes I didn't want to happen did so nonetheless. So much of my energy was expended trying to alter what was unalterable and not accepting what was; this made me truly miserable and a right pain in the backside to be around to boot.

I claimed that I could not accept this or that unfairness, inequality or injustice, with a 'woe is me' and a 'poor such and such a person' thrown in for good measure, but the truth is that I've not heard of anyone to date who has made sense of how unjust and unfair life can be at times. I discovered that the only way to be truly happy is to, of course, change things if you can, but if you can't then acceptance is a must.

This is not to say that you should be skipping in the fields when sad or upsetting things happen. Acceptance is not about resignation, ignoring reality or doing nothing. It's about fully acknowledging what has happened, seeing it for what it is and then finding your way to let it go. Holding onto it will only cause you pain. Trust me, this advice comes from a reformed, world champion clinger.

And so, I've been practicing acceptance for a good while now whenever I hit the little bumps along life's journey, and it has been a heck of a lot smoother; the practice was properly put to the test these past few months when rather large, unexpected changes occurred in both my personal and professional lives.

I did not, much to my delight and surprise, revert to my old ways. I was able to see my life as a whole - the good, the bad and the ugly, as they say - and even though the changes were certainly not good, I found my way to diffuse them and not judge them as bad or ugly. I was able to hold it all in awareness - the joys and the sorrows - and slowly I am becoming ok with it. After all, I'm still here, living, breathing and able to enjoy all of the beauty that being alive brings.

I could quite easily be consumed by my grief, for there is plenty to grieve about and although grief may be present for some time to come, this does not mean that life can't be joyous. It is. By allowing it all in and accepting things just as they are right now, I remain balanced, tranquil and happy amidst whatever life throws at me. Ah.