ACCEPTANCE MONTH: DAY 19: “Optimism is informed hope. You’ve been given something, you’ve accepted it, and understood it, and then you have to pass it on”― Michael J Fox
One of the best pieces of writing, an important piece I should say, is the 5 Stages of Grief that were recognized by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. What makes them most important is that they should have been called the 5 Stages of Life.
We have all had times in our lives, if we are over 5 or 6 years old, when we are given information about which we process these stages. It happens when mommy and daddy tell us NO as a child. It happens when we are given medical information at any age by a Dr. that we are not happy with. Every stage of life gives us this life-changing bit to process.
We do it when we first embark on jobs, relationships, leaving home, going to college to find out that being Valedictorian of our tiny high school graduation or head cheerleader does not prepare us for the rest of the many smarter, prettier, or more popular hordes we encounter on a bigger campus.
It happens when we smack our heads up against any disappointment or situation in life that does not coincide with our plans for the day.
Navigating these are the way we see who is emotionally mature and who is not. Do you throw a tantrum when you are sad or disappointed? Do you rail against God when your day is disrupted somehow? Do we resign from life and hide from the world when we are not getting what we want? All of these behaviors are victim stances.
Life is not designed to make victims of anyone. Some folks have truly horrible experiences, loss of loved ones that are beyond the daily world the rest of us encounter. Life is going on. Learning to navigate loss and love and joy and pain is all part of that process. Everything we love is going to die. All of the people we know are, just as we are. Illness and disease are with all of us. We have some say in keeping ourselves healthy, but it only means that we are less likely to have specific, preventable illnesses. There is no guarantee that eating right, working out in a healthy fashion, and not participating in endangering behaviors is going to keep us from getting hit by a bus or some other kind of death. It is absolutely inevitable.
What makes it so hard to accept is the expectation we seem to have that we are somehow exempt from losing loved ones. Like our fear (Ego) can push it away and our DENIAL is through the roof. There is no exemption clause on any life. You cannot control for this. You can do some things to keep it from happening sooner rather than later, in some cases, but even someone as physically fit and healthy as the author of this quote lives with an incurable disease that is life-changing. Those 5 stages may happen, but they are always going to lead to only ONE healthy place….ACCEPTANCE. That means Peace and the stopping of the tantrum we are throwing when we believe we are somehow exempted from life and death.