Accepting a Reality I Don’t Want – How To Make it Work For Me

Accepting RealityAccepting our reality in a given situation doesn’t mean we are forced to “like it”. We almost always have a choice.  In life, we may be forced to accept a given situation that is out of our control. When that happens we have a choice to “accept what is” or to fight against the tide. But even if we fight, we may not get what we want in the end.


Accepting Reality Where We Have Some Control to Make a Result Work in Our Favor

  1. Sometimes, rather than being fired, we are given a choice to quit a job instead.
  2. Refusing a particular surgery. Our choices are to do nothing, get a second opinion, discuss possible options with the physician, or do the surgery at a later time.
  3. Not getting the promotion we hoped to have. We have a choice to speak with our boss to identify those areas needing improvement so we can advance in our job. We can do nothing and continue working in that position. Or we can leave the company and look for another job. 


Those Times When We Have No Choice in a Matter

  1. Being told by a boss that we are not qualified for the promotion we want. (even then we may have a choice to get the training needed to move up in the future.) However, that is not always the choice given to us. 
  2. We do not have the financial funding to buy the house of our dreams.
  3. Not being accepted by the college of our choice.
  4. Being turned down in a marriage proposal by the “love of our life”.
  5. Being told by our doctor we have a terminal disease. 


Accepting Our Reality Doesn’t Necessarily Mean We Have Made Peace With Something

Sometimes people will hang on to something that hurts them so deeply that they never find peace with it. 

One of the toughest situations I can think of is when a parent experiences the loss of a child. It is incomprehensible to think of finding peace in this case. I think many parents will struggle in finding peace with their reality when it involves the loss of a child.

 However, in this case, a parent may be able to get to “accepting” the reality that the child could not be saved, regardless of money and great doctors. Even with the immense love the parent demonstrated for their child, a loss can still occur.

This situation is unthinkable to experience. But unfortunately, for some parents, it’s their reality. How can they make “peace” with such a horrendous situation? And how can they fully “accept” what has occurred?

In this case, “acceptance” of our reality is coming to terms with the reality of the situation. But for many parents, finding true “peace” may never happen. Some people find their spiritual beliefs offer some solace. But sometimes there is no ”reason or understanding”  a parent can embrace that gives them a sense of peace within. They may accept the reality that they’ve lost a child, but finding peace with such a loss is no easy task for many people.

Related Article: Dealing With Loss Of All Kinds – Learning To Cope

What Happens When We Can’t Find “Acceptance” Within?

When a person is able to find “some” kind of meaning in a situation, it often brings about “acceptance of what is”. But sometimes a person fights to push away the reality of a situation, unconsciously trying to avoid “accepting what is”. 

It’s important to understand that “acceptance” is acceptance of the reality of a situation. In negative circumstances, It will never mean the situation was “acceptable” or “ok” to have occurred.

For example, with the loss of a child, some parents find that working for the organization of the illness their child experienced gives them a sense of being able to help other children. This effort often brings a sense of “acceptance”, meaning, and control regarding their personal loss. In addition, helping others may give them a sense of making a difference in other parents’ challenging situations.  


Final Thoughts  – Remember Nothing is Perfect in Life

Acceptance of our reality is about “what is”. It’s the reality of one’s actual experience. We have a choice to “accept” the reality or to fight against it. When we find meaning in something that is a struggle we’re experiencing, it’s freeing. It’s a way of accepting “what is”, not necessarily agreement.

If you find yourself feeling stuck between your reality and what you want, look for possible options you can use. Try to come to an acceptance of where you have control and where you don’t. We all face this situation at some time in our life. 

Make it work for you!

About Susan Saint-Welch

Susan Saint-Welch LMFT has counseled couples and individuals for many years on issues such as dating, marriage, family drama, coping with difficult times, improving self-image and living the life you love. She provides psychotherapy for clients in California and Dating, Couples and Life Coaching for clients outside California through secure video conferencing. She has published numerous articles regarding these issues on her website, on and on

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