Our true solutions, like so many of our problems, lie within. In this article a leading British therapist discusses the value of allowing ourself to be ourself.
Sooner or later, we have to face the fact that we were born into a world that is, in many ways, imperfect and unjust.
We will simply have to accept this if we are to live life with emotional and mental stability.
We may begin our journey with the highest ideals, believing we really can change the world–and, indeed, every one of us can change the world, though only some of us will–but we will never change the way that life is.
With or without our remonstrations, life will continue to be life. It does not have to be fair, it does not have to be just, and it does not have to always make sense. All it has to do is all that it can do: It has to be itself. In the sage words of Lao Tzu, founder of Taoism, what we have to do is ‘let reality be reality’.
This is true, also, as it applies to each of us: We must allow ourselves to be ourselves.
Discovering who this self is, or more correctly, who these selves are – because each human being is comprised of many different aspects – is a large part of becoming authentic and real.
When we allow ourselves to accept this, when we end our ceaseless demand that life be other than it is, and that we be something other than we are, then we can end our eternal struggle, and our passage through life becomes so much easier.
There will be times when we need to steer our ship towards the shores of compromise. We may not like this, but then again there is no ‘Great Law’ that says we have to like everything in existence. The trick, of course, lies in knowing when to compromise and when not to.
When something cannot be changed, it is senseless to keep on banging our head against it.
The lucky ones amongst us may find ‘the serenity to accept the things that we cannot change, the courage to change the things that we can, and the wisdom to know the difference’, to quote from Reinhold Niebuhr’s , so wisely adopted by AA and other 12-Step groups.
As long as we do our very best then we will have done all we can–even if, at times, the best we can do is to hold our head above the water and keep right on breathing. Provided we do not give up hope, our feet will always find dry land.
Who knows how many people we might one day help because of our own difficult experiences? Although, we may not see it at the time, nothing need ever really be wasted. Everything has its value.
Our true solutions, like so many of our problems, lie within. In order to bring about real change, we need to work from the inside out, restoring an emotional balance that will last.