Chances are, not everything goes your way. Whether it is something as simple as a late bus, as complicated as an undesired break-up or as hard as losing someone close, everything has an impact on your life. It is only normal to feel something about these situations yet we can improve our response to them.
There is a crucial difference between having feelings that are tough to deal with and being stuck, not capable of moving on. Being impacted by a situation is normal – as human beings, we do feel. The line is between feeling for something or someone and not being able to move forward inside our heads. Despite being interlinked, we have to make that distinction.
One of the traits of stoic philosophy that can help is to think about what is in our control and, most importantly, what is not. Having feelings, as human beings, is not in our control, hence the importance of being at peace with them through practices like meditation. Most times, we do not stay stuck because of a situation change in itself, but because we refuse to accept this situation change, stopping us from dealing with it at all.
Change happens. Or rather, changes happen, all the time, regardless of intentions. You are ageing, animals are being born, trees are dying and life always goes on.
“Things don’t go on forever, and the quicker you accept that change is inevitable, the happier you’re gonna be.” – Trey Anastasio
Because change is not an option, accepting change should not be either. Realising that life goes on, even differently than the way it started, is comforting. Feeling powerless and weak when we face a situation that we cannot change is something that needs to be accepted as the norm and we need to change only what is in our power to change, including accepting that change and dealing with it.
Life goes on
Even when dealing badly with a situation, you will learn to live with it eventually, even if it takes you years. Unfortunately, we all have a limited number of years so it is our job and it is in our power to make the most of them by not spending too much time in the past. Life is not short. Life changes, and turning from the past to look forward again is the way to live a long and happy life.
“Life is long if you know how to use it.” – Seneca
It is important to somehow take advantage of changes and bad situations, to keep growing. We do not grow when everything goes our way, but rather when we are forced to deal with adversity. Keep growing.
“I said: what about my eyes?
He said: Keep them on the road.
I said: What about my passion?
He said: Keep it burning.
I said: What about my heart?
He said: Tell me what you hold inside it?
I said: Pain and sorrow.
He said: Stay with it. The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” – Rumi