We can prevent a lot of frustration, disappointment, and stress by letting go of what we cannot control. I want certain people in my life to be different, and for many years I tried unsuccessfully to change them. I thought they needed my help to change, so I gave everything to try and change others who did not want to change. In the end, I was worn out and frustrated my efforts to change others were useless.
There are things in life no matter how hard we try to change them, won’t. Being aware of what we can change is important. We can change ourselves but infrequently can change others or our circumstances. We can pray and ask God to intercede with our loved ones and circumstances, but we cannot control the outcome of our prayers. We have no control over how our prayers get answered. Sure having faith does and can help, but just because you have faith for something does not necessarily mean that it will happen the way you thought.
We should always have hope for change and that things in our lives will get better, but we should not stay stuck when we can’t change something we don’t like. If we stay too camped out around not accepting our reality it can lead to self-pity, anger, and bitterness. One of the reasons we become stuck in our suffering is that we are trying to control things that are beyond our control. If we focus all our energy on what we have no control over we can feel mentally and physically drained.
Acceptance of what you cannot control has many benefits:
A more positive outlook
Less worry and stress
More energy from not trying to figure things out
You will be able to move on and enjoy life again
Depression will lessen or lift completely
You will feel more peaceful and calmer
A change in perception must also take place for you to be able to let go and accept what you cannot change. If you believe the pain in your life will never end, your suffering will feel unbearable. There are times though we have to live with events that we don’t know when will end, such as with COVID. During those times of uncertainty, you can develop new and better coping skills to help manage unknown times.
Most of us have felt uncertain and distressed when faced with situations we can’t change; however no matter what the situations we face there is one thing that is in our control and that is our attitude and our response. Acceptance means letting go of our expectations for how we believe things should have turned out. Acceptance makes us feel lighter and as if a burden has been lifted.
A helpful exercise is to write out what you can control and what you cannot control, and make a decision to let go of what is not in your control.