We all face long periods of continuous good or bad periods of life. But the length of bad, down casted periods seems longer than the length of the good times. The good times pass by very quickly. But bad times drag along as if they stay for more than half of your life. Our mind visualizes it this way. Pushing us to question it, when we should deal with it with acceptance. And what is acceptance?
Do we face long bad times and short good times in reality? Is it really the case? Or the length of both these periods are equal? If we got friends with acceptance, we would answer smartly. But in our turbulent mind, acceptance is nowhere near.
However, the answer depends on many factors. One key fact is acceptance. However, the main reason for this observation lies in the way we look at these facts of life. We look at life omitting acceptance. In a more realistic note, we carry out our life events according to a script coded over the past. What happens to us and what we go through is more or less decided and planned by ourselves. This is exactly why we need acceptance beside us.
The eastern phoílosophies has an interesting explanation on this. Some of it can be in this life itself. However, schedules and scripts written over the cycle of rebirth determine some of the events. Some more events are due to inheritance, seasons, natural laws of the world, and so on. Perhaps it might be difficult for you to believe in the cycle of rebirth. It doesn’t matter whether you believe in rebirth or not actually. What goes around, comes around. It is a universal truth. Or in other words, if you, want good to happen, you should do good.
In a nutshell, everything happens for a reason. What happens in the present, is simply a consequence of the past. A particular result is generated by a particular reason. You can’t cultivate wheat and expect a rice harvest. If a rice harvest is preferred, the rice must be cultivated specifically and provide the care necessary for rice. If you like a particular result, you need to adjust the process that generates that particular result carefully.
It is pointless to like the cause and dislikes the result it generates. Because the result is there purely due to the reasons that generated the result.
We worry over the sad things we come across. Still, we are not at all ready to give away the reasons that generate sad results. As long as we hold on to the reason, the result is simply unavoidable.
It has no difference with cultivating wheat continuously and cry at the harvest for getting wheat instead of rice. You hold and maintain the reasons for wheat to grow and you nurture the crop. Finally, when the harvest – the final result is visible, you realize the mistake.
The solution is twofold. First and the simplest one is to accept life as it is. Sadness and frustration are born when you compare what you have, against what you thought you like to have. In other words the comparison between reality and imagination. Our thoughts about them do not make any positive changes in the way things happen. Therefore, accepting life as life and nothing else is one of the simplest solutions to this problem.
The second one is to take up a neutral lifestyle. This needs little commitment and mindfulness to develop. However, it does not mean that you see life as a lethargic demotivated individual. No sudden changes (both happy and sad) is not going to affect your life in general. The 80-20 rule in management philosophies is applicable in this context. The reason for nearly 80% of our worries is 20% of unexpected reasons. And these reasons appear out of the blue.
The best strategy to cope up with these types of encounters is this neutral lifestyle. You don’t get excited over the happiness they bring or frustrate over the shock they exert on you. The basic nature of these encounters is that they appear suddenly out of the blueness. Unforeseen, Uncontrollable, Inevitable, or whatever serious definition you may give them. Hence, we have no assurance of their recurrence. The optimal response that minimizes frustration or shock is to accept it as a fact of life.
However, it is easier to practice acceptance with happenings with a negative effect. Because we like to get rid of sadness as soon as possible. But with positive effects where the effect is happiness, we do not worry about being neutral. The excitement is inevitable in case of happy events. You can find out more about this “Neutral Lifestyle” in the LifePurview post “Indifference to win over desolation“.
But as far as feelings are concerned, happiness and sadness are both feelings with equal weight. Therefore, a balanced mind would consider both on the same grounds. Hence, the response for both sudden happiness or sadness will be simply acceptance.