Friday, 25 May 2018

Tips for Starting Over and Rebooting Your Life


New moon, new year...recipe essentials for creating a new life

Wishing you could start the new year all over again? You can at any time. Pick a day, any day, and declare it your personal new year's day to reboot your life. If you select today, you're not alone as the new moon marks the new year among many ancient cultures (take note, Chinese New Year is today). Still consider a birthday, anniversary, or any day to start anew and consider these tips for making new and improved resolutions that are guaranteed to succeed.


The single biggest factor that impacts the success of resolution-making is to realize what you focus on expands. Focus on avoiding something (e.g. drinking, overeating, procrastinating) and you just might ensure its continued success. As an example, 98% of people dealing with stress tend to wake up at night ruminating about the thing that bothers them. It might be a fight with a child, an argument with a coworker, burgeoning mortgage bills, illness, or something else. It makes sense to focus on the problem. Yet, like the old adage, the squeaky wheel gets the oil, the problem will get the energy, which only serves to reinforce the rumination. They key is to focus on the opposing force of the problem-the solution.


To illustrate, let's use the example of the seven deadly sins (pride, envy, sloth, greed, anger, gluttony, and lust). Numerous stories throughout time teach caution about succumbing to these behaviors. The message is reinforced to us at a young age by parents, teachers, books, and the media. For instance, recall Star Wars, episode 3, where Anakin Skywalker transforms into Darth Vader after allowing fear, envy, anger, and pride to mask his heart and intuition. In the episode, Yoda warns Anakin not to focus on the dark side of the force.


Like Darth Vader, human beings focus on the dark side of the force much of the time. I see it in myself, my friends, my family, and my clients. We fall of the bike of positive thinking and start ruminating on the negative and what we're trying to avoid. Don't believe me? Look at these top 13 New Year resolutions in the United States. The very first one is to lose weight with managing debt coming in second place. Both of these resolutions focus on the problem instead of the solution. Perhaps that's why more than 68% of people will give up on their resolutions within the first two weeks.


People would be more successful if they focused on the light side of the force. Instead of making a resolution to lose weight, try making an intention to take care of your body with nourishing food, love and care. That love and care might consist of vitamins, exercise, deep breathing, emollient lotions, uplifting fragrances, plenty of water, and listening. Let your body speak to you about what it feels. A tummy ache might be a red flag that something is bothering you. Maybe putting up better boundaries and treating yourself with respect is needed. You may not hear this critical wisdom if you're getting mad at your body for not fitting in your clothes.


Regarding managing your debt, can you tell this resolution focuses on lack? Treat your money with love, care and gratitude. Notice everything you have and how fortunate you are that you have the ability to pay for water, electricity, and things so often taken for granted. 
Debt begins to melt away (and never take hold in the first place) when we manage our money with gratitude. What happens is that people tend to focus on what they don't have or how little money they or their partner is making, which leads to a vicious cycle of spending to feel better and then regretting. Stop the cycle by appreciating the joy that $1 gives you. The thrill of that hot shower. The warmth of the extra blanket on your bed. The comfort of the fuzzy slippers or soft socks. That is where the magic lives and abundance multiplies.
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As for those seven deadly sins, try focusing on their complementary positives-the seven joys. Instead of avoiding greed, think of expanding how much you share. Instead of battling lust, try encouraging people's soulful dreams. Instead of resisting anger, give yourself nourishing love. Instead of avoiding becoming a sloth (couch-potato syndrome), allow yourself to dance more. Instead of inhibiting your inner glutton, try releasing your inner artist and seek quality over quantity. Instead of hiding from your proud ego, focus on fostering unconditional self-acceptance. Finally, instead of detaining your green-eyed monster of envy, try re-focusing on gratitude in the moment.


If you've gotten anything from this article, I hope it's that attitude is everything. Please don't beat yourself up. Take it one day at a time and keep readjusting your sights on the light. It will become natural over time.


Source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/counseling-keys/201201/tips-starting-over-and-rebooting-your-life

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Fifteen Simple Ways To Overcome Depression And Sadness


Depression can be debilitating and is very different from just feeling unhappy. Usually, there is a reason for unhappiness such as being rejected or not getting the job you wanted. 
Depression is a pervasive feeling. It’s almost as if you are in a black tunnel with no light. Hope disappears and the things you used to find enjoyable become a chore. Even winning the lottery would not snap someone out of depression and it is never a good idea to tell someone who is depressed to sort themselves out and pull themselves together.

Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple, but there are ways to alleviate the symptoms of depression.

1. Practice Mindfulness


A depressed mind tends to mull over all that is wrong and worries unnecessarily about all the negative possibilities that may emerge in the future. This negative thought cycle reinforces misery and is not helpful in managing to overcome depression. Mindfulness involves focusing on the present moment and is a skill that needs to be practiced. More often than not, our brains are full of thoughts and focusing on the present moment seems unnatural for our minds. Practice on engaging your senses in the moment. Focus on touch, taste, sight, sound and smell. Engaging the senses leaves less time for worry.


2. Listen to Upbeat Music


I have always thought of music as food for the soul. An upbeat tune can change an atmosphere instantly and create a more positive vibe. Listening to upbeat, happy music alters brain chemistry and can improve your mood.


3. Use Touch


Science shows that touch therapies can help some people overcome depression, lower the stress hormone cortisol and increase the feel-good hormone oxytocin. Therapies to consider include acupuncture, acupressure, massage, reiki and reflexology.


4. Include Omega 3 Fatty Acids in Your Diet


Research has shown that depressed people often lack a fatty acid known as EPA. Participants in a 2002 study featured in the Archives of General Psychiatry took just a gram of fish oil each day and noticed a 50-percent decrease in symptoms such as anxiety, sleep disorders, unexplained feelings of sadness, suicidal thoughts, and decreased sex drive. Omega-3 fatty acids can also lower cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health. Get omega-3s through walnuts, flaxseed and oily fish like salmon or tuna.


5. Stop the Negative Self Talk


Depressed people tend to see the world in a negative way. When things go wrong they blame themselves and when they go right, they put it down to luck. Depression reinforces self doubt and feelings of worthlessness. Monitor your inner negative talk and make allowances for this type of thinking by reminding yourself that your thinking is that of a depressed person, not a healthy functioning person. Don’t take your thoughts seriously when you are feeling low. Acknowledge the thoughts but this doesn’t mean you have to believe them. Keep perspective.


6. Bide Your Time


Accept that your mental state is not entirely balanced. During depression, we tend to see the negatives in everything and find it harder to be balanced about what is going on. Gently remind yourself that you are tuned into the ‘negativity channel’ and don’t listen to your thinking. It is definitely distorted when you are depressed. This idea alone can provide some comfort when the world appears bleak. It won’t last forever. Remind yourself that change is constant and that you won’t always feel this way. Be patient and do your best to look after yourself in the meantime. Eat well and get a decent amount of sleep. Say to yourself “This shall pass”.


7. Distract Yourself


If possible, do your best to distract yourself from over thinking. Your thoughts are your enemy when depression sets in. Play with a pet or go for a walk. Read a book if you are able to concentrate or finish a puzzle. Do anything that takes your mind off your fears and worries. Keeping busy is an effective way to overcome depression.


8. Use More Light

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is known for causing low mood over the winter months when there is less sunlight. Invest in a sunlamp – a 300 watt bulb within three feet for 20 minutes three times a day can help. SAD symptoms can include problems sleeping, anxiety, depression, irritability, fatigue, apathy and loss of libido and using light can help to overcome depression and these other symptoms.


9. Try Cognitive Therapy


Cognitive therapy can be extremely useful in counteracting depression and is based on the principle that certain ways of thinking can trigger certain health problems, such as depression. The counselor helps you to understand your current thought patterns and identify any harmful or false ideas and thoughts that you have that can trigger depression or make it worse. The aim is to change your ways of thinking to avoid these ideas as well as help your thought patterns to be more realistic and helpful.


10. Write in a Journal


A journal can work in two ways. Use it to write down fears and worries. Sometimes, having an outlet in this way can be soothing and ease your mind. Another good way to use a journal (I prefer this way) is to write at least five things down every day that you are grateful for. This forces us to think more positively and can help to remind us that things are never that bad. In a gratitude journal, you can write about anything that happened in the day that made you feel appreciative. A stranger smiling at you, the sun shining..anything positive will do!


11. Connect with Friends


This can be one of the hardest things to do when feeling depressed but it is one of the most rewarding activities. Force yourself to go out. Isolating oneself from others may seem a good idea but put a limit on it and then get out there again. This can have a huge positive effect on your mood.


12. Get Enough Sleep


Sleep and mood are closely connected. Inadequate sleep can cause irritability and stress, while healthy sleep can enhance well-being. Studies have shown that even partial sleep deprivation has a significant effect on mood.Take steps to ensure adequate sleep will this will lead to improved mood and well-being. The quality of your sleep directly affects the quality of your waking life, including your mental sharpness, productivity, emotional balance, creativity, physical vitality, and even your weight. No other activity delivers so many benefits with so little effort so aim for between 7.5 and 9 hours sleep per night.


13. Forgive Others


When we hold a grudge, we are the ones that feel the anger. The person whom we are angry with is probably merrily going about their business completely oblivious to your feelings. Don’t allow others to have this power over you. They have may have caused you grief in the past, try not to allow that grief to continue – it only affects you, not them. Find a way to forgive – they are not worthy of your time. Lighten the emotional load and you will improve your mood and help you to overcome depression.


14. Exercise


Regular exercise has benefits for helping to overcome depression. Exercise releases endorphins which improve natural immunity and improve mood. Besides lifting your mood, regular exercise offers other health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure, protecting against heart disease, cancer and boosting self-esteem. Experts advise getting half an hour to an hour of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking at least three to four times per week.


15. Don’t give up


Depression can make you want to hide away from the world and disappear. It’s okay to take some time out but give yourself a time limit and then do something productive to improve your mood. Depression can be well managed (I know this from personal experience) and there can be a wonderful life beyond depression. Hang in there and keep the faith.

Although the above suggestions can be effective, depression that perseveres should be investigated further and seeing a Doctor to chat over any symptoms is a step in the right direction.


Source: https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/fifteen-simple-ways-overcome-depression-and-sadness.html

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Divorcing an Addict – A Complete Guide


Any divorce is difficult, and something we all wish to be able to avoid but divorcing an addict bears even more hardships. Being married to one does as well. Addiction is one of the primary destroyers of relationship and families, as well as individual lives. This article will go over all the basics of divorcing an addict that you need to be aware of before, during, or after the divorce itself.


The facts about being in a relationship with an addict


Before we focus on divorce, let’s discuss how the relationships with addicts look like. Because there’s no divorce without a dysfunctional relationship.


But first of all, a few facts about the addicts. Although it is usually very hard for the non-addicted spouse to believe in that, the addiction and the binges are not about them. It is a very private relationship between the addict and the substance.In a similar way, deception is also not something to be taken personally. Addiction has a way of making the addict believe they cannot live without the substance, and they will do anything to obtain it, or to keep using it. Not that you should condone lies, but you just need to understand why it happens and not get distracted by being hurt by lies.


Addiction goes far beyond the substance


When married to an addict, and once the addiction is shouted out loud, what becomes the main issue in the family is – treatment. But, as is commonly known, there is no treatment without an honest decision to do so. And also, this decision is not enough. What is also not enough is a detox. Many people mistakenly believe that once the drugs are out of the system, the addict is basically healed.


This cannot be further from the truth. Addiction goes far beyond the substance (although the substance isn’t a piece of cake either). It is a combination of different psychological mechanisms that made the person vulnerable, kept them addicted, and keep them from healing. This is why living with an addict often turns into an endless game of getting in and out of treatments.

Is divorce inevitable when married to an addict?


Addiction is, without a doubt, one of the greatest challenges for a marriage. The non-addicted spouse is affected by the addiction directly and indirectly. They have to watch someone they love going through a disastrous downward spiral. Often, they also have to look at how this affects their children.


On top of that, they will get lied to, possibly cheated on, shouted at, possibly physically hurt, and be treated with far less respect than they deserve to be treated with. Addiction will gradually eat away the trust and the closeness. and by being legally bound to the addict, the non-addicted spouse will also be legally bound to share the damage that the addict might cause.


All this has the power to strain the marriage and drain the non-addicted spouse’s energy and tolerance. And it may be the cause of a divorce. Not necessarily, though, as to whether the divorce will happen depends on a number of reasons, such as whether the addict is getting a treatment and how successfully, the quality and strength of the relationship prior to the addiction, etc.


Legal aspects of divorcing an addict


However, if you are contemplating on divorcing an addict, there a few specific additional tactics to use, apart from the general aspects of a divorce process that everyone goes through. First of all, addiction is usually considered grounds for a fault divorce. In cases when you feel that you should file for a fault divorce, you will need proof of habitual and long-term intoxication of your soon-to-be-ex.


If during the divorce proceedings where there are children involved in the custody battle addiction is reported, the judge will order an investigation of this complaint. If there is proof of such allegations, the custody of children will be given to the non-addicted parent. In cases when the addicted parent still visits children under the influence of the substance, a rehabilitation may be ordered by the court.


Things to consider before the divorce


All this may be traumatic for both partners and the children. Which is why there are a few things you should carefully consider before you do decide to file for the divorce. First of all, is your spouse beyond help? Did they try and fail rehabilitation? Are they endangering you or your children? Is your marriage broken beyond repair?


Source: https://www.marriage.com/advice/divorce/divorcing-an-addict/

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

3 Things You Should Do To Overcome Sadness


“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” ~ Khalil Gibran


I was talking to a dear friend of mine recently and he was asking me who is the person I admire the most and why. The interesting thing I realized while giving him the answer was that the person I deeply admire is somebody who experienced a great deal of pain during his lifetime and what made me admire him so much was his attitude and how he always come out as a better not a bitter person from all of these challenges.

How many of us are really capable of dealing gracefully with pain, stress, anxiety, and many other negative emotions? What I want you to achieve is grace under pressure and even though it may seem like an impossible task to do, it really isn’t. There are so many other tips to share on the subject but today I will share these three things, and if you do them, believe me, your life will get better and better and you will manage to deal with life’s challenges a lot more effective and in a more graceful manner.

Just know that “the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming. ~ Helen Keller


Whether it’s you who is in sadness or somebody you love and care about, acknowledging and acting upon these 3 things will help you feel a lot better.


3 THINGS YOU SHOULD DO TO OVERCOME SADNESS


1. Let go of the pain. This too shall pass.


Things, people, events, they just come and go, nothing really lasts forever and the same with your not so happy feelings. What I usually do when I feel like my world is coming to an end, and yes, that happens to me too, it to think of a time when I was down, a time when I felt really sad and blue, a time when I felt like the whole world would come to an end, and I had no way to escape, and I use that as proof that what my mind is telling me is not always true.


It is so important to work on making your mind work for you and not against you, because you see, in order for you:

“To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.” ~ Buddha


2. Let go of resistance as best you can.


Even though it may seem that you talking about the things that are going wrong in your life will help solve the problem and make you feel better, the truth is that it will not, and just like Carl Jung said it, and I have experienced this myself so many times,

“What you resist not only persists but will grow in size.”

Do you understand why that is? Every time you insist on the pain, and every time you insist on talking about how much you are suffering, to yourself and to those people who are there to listen, you are in fact contributing to the growth of that pain, you are feeding it and you are building more and more pain on top of what already is!


Just imagine that I gave you a clean sheet of paper and I asked you to draw a very small dot on that paper, right in the center. Looking from the distance, does the dot seem significant to you? I wouldn’t think so. But what if I asked you to take a magnifying glass and move closer and closer to that dot? You will for sure feel like the dot is all there is, it will seem huge, right? The same with your pain. It’s not that big of a deal, even though right now, in this moment you might think otherwise, it really isn’t. This too shall pass.


Do you want to focus on the things that upset you and work on increasing the pain, or do you want to focus on those things that make you feel good about yourself and your life? It’s just a matter of choosing where to focus your attention, shifting your focus away from what you don’t want towards the things you do want, from unhappy to happy. It is a choice, and it’s always your choice. So chose to always focus on what you want, not what you don’t want and move in that direction.


3. Change your attitude.


If you ask me, a lot of our pain is caused because of our attitude, because of our perception on the good and the bad, because of our expectations on how things should be. When you expect something to happen and it doesn’t, how do you feel? You feel sad, depressed, you feel disappointed and you might even start telling yourself that you are a failure, that things will never go the way you want them to, that your end is near, and of course, you can add some other things to the list if you want, but that’s not really what we are after here, right? But then again, if you choose to argue over your pain, it will surely be yours.

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” ~ Thomas Jefferson
The moment you stop and look at things from a different perspective, the moment you chose to change your attitude toward life, life will start to change its attitude towards you, and from that moment things will never be the same again, because you see, just like Wayne Dyer said it,

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”


Everything changes the moment we decide to change and the whole world will start to revolve around us because you see, we do matter for the world, we matter a lot.


Source: https://www.purposefairy.com/5426/3-things-you-should-do-to-overcome-sadness/

Monday, 21 May 2018

Effective Divorce Advice for Men with Children


Divorce, no matter how smooth or difficult the process might be, it is a major change for everyone involved, and as such, it is an unknown situation with unknown outcomes. So, don’t be afraid to ask for help and guidance. Here are some of the most important things you should know about how to make the divorce as unproblematic as possible.
Understand what it means for the children


It is easy to get tangled up in the bitterness about the approaching divorce. Nothing to be ashamed of if you find yourself focused on your own feelings and worries. You’re also going through a change that you weren’t prepared for, weren’t planning on some years ago when you said your “I do”.


Yet, your children are even less prepared for it. No matter how many signs there could have been along the way, almost all children still never expect their parents to split, even when they are already in their teens. This is why it will be your responsibility as their father to learn about what the divorce means for them, and to respect their pain.


You can begin by doing some research online about what the children of divorcing parents are going through. But, it might be an even better idea to talk to a psychologist about what your children will experience, how it will affect them, how they might react, and how to make the process as smooth as possible. In all cases, you need to talk to your children, learn how to get into their shoes and try to help them resolve their doubts and fears.


Practice restraint and kindness


Yes, there are not-so-ugly divorces. Some even speak of friendly and cheerful separations. Yet, for the majority of divorcing fathers, it is a period in which the ugliest and the nastiest come to the surface, both from you and your ex-wife. It can even start resembling a war, with the sides resorting to any means necessary.


Under those circumstances, one can easily get dragged into resentment, anger, hostility, and aggression. Yet, for men with children, letting your anger go loose is not a good idea, as you’re not hurting only your wife and yourself, but also very much your children. Therefore, find a way to get in touch with your best self, and practice kindness, gentleness, and tolerance. Only in such situation will you truly help your kids adapt to the change and maintain the relationship with both of their parents.

Know your rights and obligations


Getting a divorce often means that you will now not only have your separate household to care about but also that you will have to think about alimony and child support now. The rules regarding these aspects of a divorce can be quite intricate. Then there’s the specific agreement you might have made with your ex-wife. For it all to go painlessly, you should get informed about all your obligations and possible consequences of not obeying the court’s decision.


Furthermore, if you get joint custody, it also comes with a set of both rights and obligations. And it can be quite difficult to handle. This is why you should know all about the logistics of joint custody, your children’s wishes, and your responsibilities. And most importantly, even in the most civil post-divorce relationships, joint custody can cause friction. Be sure you’re on the same page with your ex on all major aspects of how it is going to work.


Be mindful about dating


Finally, now a single man again, you will probably start thinking about dating again soon, if you haven’t already. Yet, as a father, you need to consider how this will affect your children as well. You deserve to regain your personal life, that is certain, but be sure to talk to your children about it before you embark on that path. Because you never know where the next big romance can come out of, and your children need to be prepared for another change when and if it comes.


Divorce is different for everyone. But even when it is the beginning of a new refreshed life, for men with children it is never a clean cut. Regardless of your relationship with your ex-wife, the children will always be your children, and you need to find the right path for your family, one that works for all of you the best.


Source: https://www.marriage.com/advice/divorce/divorce-advice-for-men-with-children/

Saturday, 19 May 2018

10 Tools for Restarting Your Life


Start small and don’t put too much pressure on yourself

For many, finding their way through the next year will feel like starting over. Not a completely horrible prospect, but the workload can be daunting. Here are some tips to help you create some new beginnings and make your life a little more emotionally fit in the process.

  1. Starting over is not the same as recouping from a failure. It is a new beginning, and you have gained experience and knowledge to help you reach your goals. Reignite your passion by imagining what it will feel like when you achieve the desired result.
  2. Moving through life is like climbing stairs. You go up a step or two, and then you level off and you may go down a step, but you are still higher than you were. That’s the process of life (and therapy) nothing is ever a straight shot. Have some patience with yourself and with your newfound direction.
  3. You can create a whole new life if you want it. You just have to approach it in the right way. Sometimes little ideas can turn into big things. Visualize a positive outcome for your issue. Medical doctors recommend visualization to patients with chronic and potentially fatal illnesses. If it can help them, it can do the same for you.
  4. Endings are not necessarily bad things. Even if you lost your job, savings or home, what comes to you in the future may be better than what you had. Sometimes the phoenix has to burn, so it can rise again.
  5. Starting over may feel scary, but it can be a cause for celebration. Think of it as exciting, and many of your anxious feelings will begin to fade. The truth is that anxiety and excitement feel exactly the same to the body. It’s our minds that make it scary versus exhilarating.
  6. Remember that your future is not governed by your past. No matter what has happened in your life, you can find a way to make things a little better for yourself, and hopefully for those around you as well.
  7. Having to start over is different from choosing to start over. For many whose lives are still in chaos because of the trying times we are in, starting over is not a choice. It can be hard to accept support from others. If you find it difficult to take that in, just promise yourself that you will return the favor and do something to “pay it forward” as soon as possible.
  8. Healthy alternatives to negative lifestyle patterns abound. If you can’t stop a bad habit, start by cutting back. It’s okay to give yourself a little time to moderate or stop something that’s hurting you.
  9. Starting over is about creating and reaching new goals. We are happiest when we’re moving toward a goal. It’s not all about the end result, in fact when you do achieve a dream you must find a new one as soon as possible in order to stay emotionally fit. Think about it this way, you can either be green and growing or ripe and rotting. Which do you prefer?
  10. Starting over is about giving yourself a chance at real happiness. You will have to be brave and get good at learning new things, but how bad can that be? At the very worst, you will acquire the skills you need to start on the next project.

Finding ways to begin anew will give you energy. The excitement of moving toward what you want will also bring you happiness. Just start small and don’t put too much pressure on yourself, you’ll get there sooner than you think.


Source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/emotional-fitness/201212/10-tools-restarting-your-life

Friday, 18 May 2018

Radical Acceptance


Radical Acceptance is a gift I want to offer you.

I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.
(Deuteronomy 30:19)

We are born into a world that is not of our making. We are given a place to grow up, parents, a family, a home, neighbors, teachers, friends—and an era in which we evolve. We don't get a choice in so much that really counts. Are you good looking, ugly or in the middle? Are you smart, challenged or just different? Are you tall, short—skinny, heavy—charismatic, marginalized—befriended or alone? Are your parents happy or even together? Do you have a brother or sister that you are close to - or are you bullied relentlessly? Are you born into a time of peace or a time of war, a time of impoverishment or a time of plenty, a time of faith or a time of cynicism? If you take a deep breath and look at the circumstances of your early life, you will have to see that the whole project is essentially unfair. Some people are born into riches of all kinds, while others are burdened from the very beginning.


Then you live your life. You make decisions, meet people, and navigate through school and more. We all try. It is absurd to call people lazy. But some certainly have a harder time than others. With luck, someone loved you. Someone believed in you and in turn, you began to believe in yourself. If you were a more sensitive soul, you may have been injured by the numerous selfish people that you met along the way; and they are everywhere (welcome to the human condition). Some of these wounds can last a lifetime, leaving you feeling stupid, unwanted, second best and so on. If you were what E. James Anthony called The Invulnerable Child, you were able to pull yourself up from nothing and make something of yourself: look at Presidents Clinton and Obama, two men who had weak paternal support and nonetheless, perservered. There are so many stories and your unique life is one of them.


Radical Acceptance is a gift—and I want to offer it to you. We must accept what happens to us. That doesn't mean that we like it or that it is fair. Life is not fair. If you are in the midst of a divorce, you gave up so much to make your marriage work. It didn't. If he left you, then you are probably holding a bag of resentment and hurt. If you left him, you've been grieving the loss of your marriage for some time. It is a big loss. We all want to rage at the world, or crawl into a depressed spot when we feel the injustice and randomness of our pain.
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Or perhaps you were traumatized by an accident, an illness, a corrupt business deal, a rapist, the death of a child, Mother Nature. All this happens in this world and it may happen to any of us. As we age we grow wiser as the invincibility of youth is supplanted by the vulnerability of maturity. Kids simply don't know how precious happiness really is. It is a golden moment to be celebrated and cherished. And when you have love, grab it. I often say to my patients, "Grab the good, because the bad will surely find you."


When injured by others or by circumstance, I encourage you to feel it all; the outrage, the hurt, the questioning of your Maker, the fear of what will be coming next—if anything. This is grief work and it is a necessary part of healing. It is the spiritual equivalent to the body slowly healing a bad wound. It starts off in pain, and then remains tender, and when protected and soothed, a wound eventually heals. And scars are a sign that the body did its job. Grief brings you through pain to disbelief, to anger, to "only ifs" to profound sadness, to loss - and then to acceptance. It gets triggered again and again, like tsunamis of anguish that take you over when you least expect it. But, over time grief does get worked through. The wound heals, even if imperfectly. We are left with acceptance - and I would like to argue - Radical Acceptance. It's a good thing.


There is something about the human condition in that we tend to hold onto bad memories more than good ones. We have sayings like, bad news travels ten time farther or faster than good news. It is probably evolutionary, because when survival was at stake, ancient homo sapiens had to remember where danger lurked. Their very survival depended on it. So, remembering the bad had value - but in the twenty first century, this quality provides us with too much pain and it is not worth it anymore. (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a dramatic example of this biological safety mechanism gone terribly wrong.)

Radical Acceptance means that you understand that bad things do indeed happen to good people - and all the time. You can stay mired in your sense of injustice and self righteousness. You can develop an entire personality around your victimhood. But what purpose does it provide? An identity fueled by hurt and rage is a soul that is preoccupied by control and not love. You lose a second time because you become a victim of your own victimhood. And, in the worst case, you can become part of the problem. Very often, it was an injured soul or group that hurt you in the first place. A cycle of victims and oppressors does our species little good.


We must accept. Not in the classic Buddhist sense of non attachment. We should be attached. A wrong is a wrong; and it needs to be righted if possible. But we must start with the understanding that what happened to us is part of the quixotic human condition. From acceptance comes clarity - and from this place, you will be more able to make a difference. If you were married to a narcissistic man, for instance, mourn the loss that you may never have really been loved. Get over it, because you will have to coldly deal with his manipulations—and your outrage will only play into his charismatic hands. If your older sister was preferred by your father because she was beautiful and you were just smart, get over it. Let go. Radically accept your father's stupid (but human) mistake. It cost you. No question. You are angry and perhaps have a chip on your shoulder. Forgive and grieve the father that you wish you had. He was just coarsely human - like most of us. This kind of acceptance is the end stage of healthy grief - it will probably make you easier to live with - and give you much needed peace.


Radical Acceptance is an evolutionary good - if not a spiritual good as well. Most of us don't have to worry about wild beasts attacking us. We can learn from our misfortunes. We just don't want to be irreparately damaged by them. To accept means to see things clearly. It reinforces the notion not to give a second chance to someone who doesn't deserve it. You don't have to walk around feeling like a victim in order to protect yourself.

You see, acceptance doesn't mean passivity. It means freedom.


Let there be a blessing for us all to be free to see the world as it is, with its dangers—and its gifts. Grieving our losses is only a first step towards the wisdom of enjoying what is to be enjoyed. Most of us have blessings if only we permit ourselves to see them. Ironically, as we shed our expectations we become lighter and more open to every moment that we live.

Grab the good when it comes by. The bad will find you where you are.

It is the way of things.

Source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-intelligent-divorce/201201/radical-acceptance