I said that 2015 was the year of acceptance and I’ve really been trying to hold true to that (even accepting that sometimes, even at places like Disneyland, I’m going to be faced with skepticism about my disability).
When you step back and take a hard look, it’s really pretty crazy how much can really be gained just by letting acceptance into our lives. I’ve said before, that when people do things or behave in a way that I wouldn’t, I have a hard time understanding that. So I can get really mad when people don’t treat others with respect, when people drive recklessly or carelessly because they’re in a hurry, when a neighbor isn’t considerate or when someone steps all over other people in order to get ahead. But when you look at that sentence, everything I just listed relates to other people. None of it has anything to do with me and as frustrating as that can be, I’m never going to be able to control other people’s behavior. Can I try to make a positive impact and hope that that affects someone for the better? Of course. But there’s absolutely no sense in me getting all worked up about it. I’m only hurting myself in the end.
The only thing I can do is work on the way I approach and move through the world. I can accept that other people are going to be rude or careless or even just flat out awful sometimes, but I don’t have to be that way and I can take comfort in that. I can feel good about the fact that I care and am a hard worker. I can be satisfied knowing that when I get in my car, I’m not driving in a way that puts other people in danger.
I wish there was on “On” switch for acceptance that I could just flip on and all of a sudden I would be calm and collected about everything in my life and in the world. But unfortunately, I have to accept there’s not one of those either. The one thing there is though is the realization that acceptance is the real key to happiness. Not money, not status, not the amount of friends we have or the car we drive. Accepting that life has ups and downs (and sometimes some big ones). Accepting that people aren’t always going to be what we hoped they would be or behave perfectly all the time. Accepting that people approach the world in different ways, even if we don’t always agree with it or even if it isn’t right. Accepting that we can let go of so much stress and anxiety if we just accept that which we can’t control. The only thing we can really focus on is ourselves, and we have to accept that too. I’m trying my darndest!