Most of us are not going to get everything we ever wanted.

You might think this is a bummer of a topic to start the year off with. But hear me out—accepting that we don’t get everything we want is THE WAY to get out of constant suffering.

gif of a cartoon girl pointing to the beginning of a path where a sign is marked "beginning". Text reading 'Less suffering is this way'Art Credit: PorticoIndia

 

Quick caveat: We aren’t talking here about basic human needs like physical safety or enough money to feed and shelter yourself, etc. Those are hard to live without.

There are so many things we want, though, after our basic needs are met. Maybe it’s a nicer home, recognition from your boss or organization, or even a better relationship with a parent, spouse, or child.

Reading this email right now, you can likely think of several things you’re not getting that you really want. And you may hate the idea that you’ll never get them.

 

gif of a pink cartoon cat with an angry face and waving its finger in the air saying "no, no, no"Art Credit: @ZipZipOfficial

When faced with not getting what you want, you have three choices:

  • fight for it
  • accept it
  • go into denial until you’re ready to make one of the first two choices.

You’re way more likely to stay stuck and unhappy when you choose that last option, consciously or unconsciously. The most common way people practice denial is through romanticizing things.

When you look at life romantically, as if it’s a Hallmark movie, you assure yourself that everything will work out or that your strong feelings of desire must mean it’s meant to be!

What is ultimately more courageous and also kindest to yourself is to remove the goggles of romance about something that isn’t going the way you want. Then ask yourself— am I going to fight to change it, or am I going to accept it and move on?

You become emotionally stronger by building a conscious practice for letting go of what you’re not getting.

 

Image showing the three choices listed in email

 

As we begin this new year, I encourage you to review your life courageously and honestly, without the rose-colored glasses. Then work to change what you’re not getting, or work to let it go.

I promise you, you’ll be happier down the line.

 

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