Have you ever looked at someone else and envied his life? Perhaps he has a great job, positive attitude, wonderful family, and everything seems to be working for him? You probably imagine that you would feel so much more peaceful if your life was like his.
However, this is not true. Living a peaceful life is not so much about having the perfect set of circumstances. Living a peaceful life is about finding acceptance of your limitations and life events. This can be challenging when you are facing troubling circumstances. The power of acceptance means that you can rise above your life’s challenges and keep a joyful soul no matter what.
Tips to Practice Acceptance and Live a Peaceful Life
Change What You Can Change
Some people believe that self acceptance means that you just stop growing, changing, and striving toward your goals. “I’ve always been overweight. I’ll never be healthy,” or, “I’m just a hot head. I never will master this temper,” and similar comments both reflect the idea that life is inevitable and nothing can be changed.
However, some things are within your control. You can practice self acceptance by appreciating your own special gifts and using them to gain control over factors that you are able to master. Perfection is impossible for anyone, but you can strive for imperfect progress.
Self acceptance appreciates the steps that you have taken to improve yourself and takes joy in achieving small victories.
Let Go of What Is Unchangeable
Gaining acceptance of the fact that some things are out of your control is difficult. However, not all things can be changed. When people face illness, disability, job loss, and other challenges, often these things are nothing that could be avoided. Rather than continually trying to figure out ways that the problems could have been avoided, just accept the circumstances and give grace to your past self. Chances are, in the past, you just did the best that you could. That has to be enough for anyone.
It is okay to mourn your losses. Some pills are quite bitter ones to swallow. But don’t mourn too long. Try to spend more time looking forward to the new possibilities that life might bring you.
Focus on Everyday Beauty
Those who have gained acceptance of their limitations and circumstances learn to find joy in everyday beauty. Even when things are tough, noticing the beauty that is right in front of you can bring you smidgens of joy during depressing times.
Whether it is the smile of a child at the grocery store, the delicate veins on a leaf, the brilliance of your friend’s red sweater, the flavor of a hot cup of tea, or the sound of the birds singing each day, these small moments of beauty can give you peace and lead to acceptance of the bad along with the good.
No one’s life is ever completely awful or completely good. In each person’s life there are some hard things. But when you take on the practice of finding beauty everywhere, the power of acceptance will help you rise above negativity.
Imagine yourself as a calm, strong, confident person overflowing with acceptance of your circumstances. Now, picture that person dealing with the circumstances you are facing. If you were that person, how would you react to that irritating circumstance, that trying person, or that limitation on your life?
Strive toward behaving that way, even when you don’t feel like it. Over time, you will gain the habit of behaving with serenity when hard things crop up. As your behavior changes, so will your feelings.
Open Up to the Possibilities
So perhaps you are financially or physically limited in some way. Perhaps your life looks nothing like you pictured it. Perhaps someone you trusted let you down. Yes, it is tough, but look at each challenge as a doorway to a new life. The options may not be what you ever expected, but if you allow yourself to be open to new possibilities, you can still accomplish great things.
Stewart O’Nan wrote in his book The Odds, A Love Story, “You couldn’t relive your life, skipping the awful parts, without losing what made it worthwhile. You had to accept it as a whole–like the world, or the person you loved.”
The key to finding peace in your life is to acknowledge that both the good and the bad will make you who you are. Even the dark times will lend depth to your soul and resilience to your character. You can approach life with a measure of serenity and enjoy each moment as it comes.