“And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation – some fact of my life – unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake.”
– Dr. Paul Ohliger
This is the key to serenity.
This is at the heart of all psycho-spiritual teaching. It may be shared in many different forms, and this is my personal favorite. It is being One with life. Accepting what is. Living in the Now.
We cannot control what happens to us, but we can control how we react to it. We do not even need to understand what happens to us. We just need to accept that it has happened. A prerequisite for accepting whatever life hands us is a hope and faith in a Higher Power, a Universal Spirit, God.
To fight what is happening right now, to look at some situation, some person, some outcome as unacceptable is an attempt to play God of our own lives. To grasp this lesson is to begin to awaken spiritually. Unfortunately, this is a lesson many of us only learn after decades of living life.
Let me share a story…
A young man met the woman of his dreams. Once he returned home from active duty in the Navy, they decided to marry. They started a simple life together, working hard to make ends meat. Soon they had a child.
The family grew, the young man was now responsible for a wife and daughter, but they were happy. They had what they wanted. They had each other.
The mother became ill. This illness prevented her from working. The young man had to forgo the plans he had for his life, and enter work in the local industry, a place he swore he’d never go. He had to work twice as hard to provide for his family, to pay for medical bills.
Eventually the illness overtook his wife, and she passed away. Here was a man in his early 20’s, with a young daughter, multiple jobs, and instantly his dreams and plans for his life were shattered. This is not what he had intended for his life – a career he swore he’d never enter, a father with no idea how to raise a young child.
He was resentful towards God. He was unsure he wanted to continue living a life that had only given him pain and disappointment.
He made it a goal to find a suitable mother for his daughter. He nearly settled for a woman he did not love. Even had plans to propose to her, even though they had never even kissed. Listening to his mother’s advice, he decided to be more patient.
Finally he met a woman who had also lived a painful life, who was also a single mother of a young daughter. In the end, they married, and had two more children. Today he can see that he did not understand what life had in store for him. He has achieved a life beyond his dreams. Grandchildren. Retirement. A woman to love forever.
If he hadn’t learned this lesson, I wouldn’t exist. This man is my father.
Tough times never last, but tough people do!