This is one of the most difficult processes when trying to improve your life because often – it is painful. Yet, there is often relief once the thin veil of self-imposed “head” thinking in the form of, analytical justifying, rationalizing and fantasizing gets to the point of tipping or exploding. It would not be human to live without considering the “greener grass” ideal, yet that entire thought process, that the “grass” is, or could, or must be greener is centered in destructive and flawed “head” talk. This thought system builds on itself as you falsely fantasize, rationalize, justify, that your present situation is less green….SANE people understand – there is no greener grass, just different grass.
When we reject reality we accept the flawed thought system and begin to resent, devalue, jeopardize, what is real and start to live in a skewed reality. In this place there is no calm, no clarity, no comfort. It is a constant battle between what is and what our minds want things to be like and there is no serenity in such a place.
When we accept reality as it is without filters (filters being untrue colors to enhance the “greener” grass or thoughts that perpetuate the skewed belief system) we can improve our lives through clear and meaningful steps. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross first defined these steps as it related to death but it works the same with other forms of loss or change. There are 5 steps:
- Denial – Not letting ourselves know what reality is; a state of confusion minimizing the situation, avoiding the situation, denying our feelings.
- Anger – Once we’ve come to the realization that accepting reality is attached to a genuine loss, we often have some form of anger associated.
- Bargaining – An attempt to avoid suffering the loss.
- Depression – When the bargain doesn’t work and we are too tired (mentally) to continue the battle to avoid the loss…surrendering to the loss and the hurt allows the process to continue to the final stage
- Acceptance – Numbness….peaceful, free but without fireworks or belly laughs, it is a state of resolve, being a kin to the feeling of meditation – accepting what is.
Life striving/searching for recovery is a continuous dance between these 5 stages. They occur with all things we deal with in all aspects of our lives. Sometimes they are worked through in seconds, sometimes hours, sadly the greater the event the greater the time we travel through these stages bounding back and forth between them as we try to balance emotionally and spiritually. Coming to Accept life on life’s terms is anything but easy….if it was easy it wouldn’t be life.