A Buddhist principle states the sole cause of all of your suffering in life is based off of resistance to the present moment. All of your suffering is because you hold a grudge towards the universe for doing things you don’t want it to. You wish it to fit into how you want it to be. The problem is the universe doesn’t give a shit and continues to do its thing despite how you feel it should be.
Because of that, you can wind up huffing and puffing at the universe for not listening to you. This only harms you though. What the universe does is not personal. It’s just the way things played out. There’s no good or evil in the design of the universe. It’s just how things played out and you’ve got to roll with it because there’s nothing else you can do about it. You can’t change the past, so you just have to move on and do what you can right now.
I want to make it clear that acceptance of things for how they are is not the same as letting them be how they are. Acceptance is working with the cards you are dealt. If you have a problem in your life, rather than wishing it wasn’t that way, acceptance would be acknowledging that things aren’t how you would prefer them to be, and that if you wish to make them how you want them to be you have to take action to change it. No matter how much you wish it didn’t happen, it still did, and it still needs dealt with. If you’re still hung up on this I’ll link you to the podcast/article Acceptance vs. Resignation by Secular Buddhism.
I think a lot can be learned from this concept. Now, I’m not trying to say you should make your number one goal to be completely, 100% accepting of the present moment, but I do think becoming even just a bit more accepting of the present moment can bring about a greater sense of happiness and enjoyment in your life. Think of it this way, for every moment you spend being displeased with the way things are, you could spend it being accepting of it. You can move on because it’s the only other option you have compared to being displeased with it.
You don’t even have to be grateful for the way things are. You can take baby steps and first just become more accepting of it. I have an example of how I did this with the food in my house. Whenever I’d be home from college I used to have a habit of being upset with how there was never any food that I wanted in my house. I’d go to the pantry and look for snacks and there wouldn’t be a single thing I wanted to eat.
I’d try making lunch and find there was nothing that I wanted at all. Every time I was hungry I now had an excuse to be self-righteously angry (the worst kind of angry). These are moments in my life where I was unnecessarily causing myself stress. Eventually after realizing how miserable I was making myself for absolutely nothing I decided to start working on my mindset.
I started coming at the lack of food with a new mindset. Rather than “How could you have done this to me my dearest mother?” I went at it from the angle of, “What can I do about this?” Well… I started buying my own groceries, or scavenging the pantry and fridge to see what I could make out of what was there. The world’s not out to get you but it’s easy to convince yourself it is.
The world is just the way it is, and things just happen as they happen, whether it’s good or bad. The most you can do is try your best to shape your life how you want it to be, but you can’t expect it to go the way you want it to. You have to take what you get, and do what you can from that. And just roll with whatever hand life deals you. You’ll find life to be a lot less malicious and a lot less of a struggle if you begin to look at it this way. There’s no ill intention behind any of it, it’s just the way things played out.
Set your goals in life. Dream big. Reach for the stars. And be happy with whatever you achieve, because that’s a million times better than what you would have accomplished had you not tried at all. It’s all about enjoying the journey. If you reach your destination: hell yeah! Way to go! Celebrate and bask in your hard work coming through!
If you don’t reach your destination you can’t beat yourself up. You’re not entitled to accomplish your dreams, but when you only have one life it’d be foolish not to try. At the end of the day you’ve got to just appreciate what you’ve got and make the most out of what you have. You can reshape the entire way you look at the world and become immensely more grateful for what you do have when you begin accepting the present moment for what it is.
I believe meditation is the perfect way to practice accepting things for the way they are. If you wish to learn how to meditate I have a guide right here for you. Besides that, have yourself a lovely day why don’t ya!