Learning to Accept the Content of the Glass
It doesn’t matter what’s in the glass
We are all familiar with the view of an optimist seeing a glass as “half-full” and the pessimist seeing the same glass as “half-empty.” However, have you heard the alternative take on the glass as “it doesn’t matter?” It doesn’t matter because it is not whether or not the glass is half-full or half-empty, what matters is whether or not you can accept how it is – and if you can’t accept it, change it. The situation is what it is and it’s not necessarily the situation, but how you feel about the situation that’s the problem.
Maya Angelou is quoted as saying “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”
A co-worker, dubbed “the Golden Child” because of his sarcastic comments that were actually deep and full of wisdom, would say “You can make it as miserable as you want” which always made me stop my negative train of thoughts.
Forcing how we want things to be is like paddling upstream
We often have expectations of how things will be or should be and can easily get frustrated because “it wasn’t supposed to be like that!” We end up resisting what is actually happening and end up frustrated. I am very guilty of this because I am a planner and a doer, and while that does help get some things done, if I’m not careful it can set me up for disappointment.
To not be disappointed, there has to be a balance.
What if when we set some plans in motion instead of controlling the ending, we went into it with an open mind by just rolling with it? By forcing something how you want or think it should be, it’s like paddling upstream — difficult and really not all that enjoyable.
When I start getting frustrated or resisting things as they are, I try to visualize myself the time I floated in an inner tube in a lazy river in Brazil, seeing myself feeling the water and enjoying the scenery.
While it’s good to set goals or plans to move in a direction (because plans without actions are just “dreams”) it is important to “go with the flow” by accepting that we don’t have control and as much as we can plan, we may need to adjust as we go… and that is okay. Head in that direction, but flow with the river as it goes, with its unexpected twists and turns… it could actually turn out better than you imagined… so sit back and learn to enjoy the ride.
The Serenity Prayer reminds us to “Change the things we can and accept the things we cannot.”
My youngest daughter, Jaimee, and I will embark on an international mission trip this summer through Back2Back Ministries. At our initial team meeting we were told not to come with expectations and to go into it with an open minded. For example, it was mentioned that the facility we were staying at had a pool. But, being that it is an impoverished area there is a chance it won’t be working, so they didn’t want to set us up with expectations only to be disappointed. In fact, we were advised to be “Flexico in Mexico.” That being said, Jaimee and I are going into this thing with absolutely no idea what to expect and amazed of how exciting that concept actually is!
Are there things you would like to change? Are there things you need to accept? What will you do about it? Comment below:
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