The Challenge of Accepting Things that Happen to Us

· January 19, 2018

Accepting things that happen to us is the first step towards change. In order to accept the most painful things that have happened to us, we often need time, lasting from that moment until we’ve managed to deal with them. And really, this acceptance will help us build a new, more real view of ourselves and what is happening to us.

The challenge that every human being will have to face at some stage is that of adapting to the most adverse circumstances, because they will not go how we wish the would. There will come a day, more or less sad, more or less distant, when we accept what we are, whether it’s to change it or write it into our story.

Admitting our vulnerability instead of trying to hide it is the best way to face reality, but it’s also the best way to build trusting relationships. Acceptance is not cowardice. Instead, it’s a sign of the bravery it takes to admit that we’re in a place we don’t like.

 There’s a big gap between knowing and understanding and an even bigger gap between understanding and accepting.

Life is not what we think, it’s what happens to us

Reality sometimes delights us and other times just devastates us. But, as we should’ve already accepted, life is not what we want, it’s what happens to us. Getting tools to integrate all the things we’ve gone through, especially the painful ones, is emotional intelligence.

accepting and surrendering to life


Emotionally intelligent people experience negative and painful emotions without the weight of frustration knocking the wind out of them. They know they’re inevitable and don’t try to repress them or ignore them.

In contrast, people with low emotional intelligence make the process even more painful by not being able to differentiate pain from suffering.

Pain is inevitable, but suffering is in large part a personal choice. Normally, we suffer more with what we do not accept. Denial, when there’s a very large emotional impact, is valid as an initial defense strategy but becomes invalidating when it persists.

What you can’t accept it, let it happen. Later you will understand

How can we accept something we will never be ready for?

Acceptance of what has already happened or has to happen is the first step in transcending the emotional impact of any misfortune. The quickest way to change our attitude to pain is to accept the fact that everything that happens to us can help us grow.

Life is dynamic. From childhood on we’re in continuous change, changing toys, school, friendships, family make-ups. Accepting this as part of life, instead of burying it like it’s not going to happen, allows us to understand the seasons of life.

Some losses aren’t overcome, but accepted. To learn to accept the loss we’ll need to to understand the feelings that we have and give them meaning in the present. Reposition the memories, so you can move forward.

a woman with her eyes closed, in green

What we once enjoyed, we never lose. Everything we love deeply becomes part of us. When we connect with another person, close friends, parents, siblings, partners, that connection transforms us and makes us somehow part of its reflections.

So, with any type of loss, we have to know that the person who is leaving our life has already left their stamp on us. Whenever we want them to be with us, all we have to do is to look at our gestures, our words and our attitudes to see a part of them again.

“When you are sorrowful, look again into your heart and you shall see that you are weeping for that which has been your great delight”

-Kahlil Gibran-