If you find yourself in the midst of a conflict between what you had expected/planned and what is actually happening, you might be feeling pretty miserable. The quickest way to feel better is to find acceptance of what is already here and give up the struggle. Here is an example of what I mean:
I had a lot of things planned for myself this summer. I was going to travel, spend time relaxing with friends at the summer cottage, do some long planned writing, read lots of books, rebuild two gardens in my yard and clean out the garage and basement. It was going to be a great balance between relaxing and completing some projects. All this, and seeing clients in my private counseling practice in Rochester Hills.
In the spring, I discovered that my elderly aunt’s cottage had flooded over the winter and was overrun with mold and water damage. She lives out west and the house needed to be emptied of over 60 years of stuff. Then, my elderly father had a significant downturn in his health. They both needed help and I was the only one to assist. My plan for the summer went down in flames.
At first I did a lot of suffering. Disappointment, frustration, anger, and sadness arose as I focused on all that I wasn’t going to get to do, as well as all the work I was going to have to do.
Then I realized…this is what is here now. Just like I do when I visit my dad, I simply let go of my agenda and opened myself up to what was actually going on. This created space for me to consider how I wanted to be in the midst of it all and to see clearly what actions were called for.
I still allowed my emotions and thoughts to come and go, while focusing on what was actually needed. I found greater ease, and even peace, as I moved through the summer and dealt with each task in turn. I suffered much less and even found love and joy in carrying out the work. What a welcome surprise!