3 Ways To Accept The Things You Cannot Change

The serenity prayer states, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

The author of those wise words was an American theologian named, Reinhold Niebuhr. According to Yale Alumni Magazine, the courage line actually came first in the original text.

Perhaps the lines molded into what we know today because people felt a stronger need for finding a way to accept what can’t be changes.

The phrase is more commonly associated with Alcoholics Anonymous. People in these groups often regret the way their life ended up because of their addiction

In general, though, all of us at some point make decisions that turn out to be ones that we regret.

These memories of past mistakes can sometimes haunt us and leave us struggling to move forward in life.

In other cases, life may have taken a drastically different turn for us and it’s very difficult to come to terms with.

You may have gotten divorced or someone close to you may have recently passed away.

These are devastating life circumstances to accept, but so many who’ve experienced these events managed to do it.

If they could do it, perhaps you can too. Here are some tips that might help you be better able to accept what can no longer be changed.

Woman out in nature looking at the sky

1. Focus on what you can do now

You may not be able to do anything about something in the past, but you can still do something to make your life better now.

Your mood is largely affected by the actions you do in life. Getting enough sleep, regular exercise, eating good foods, and having a social circle can all influence your mood in a positive way.

Additionally, avoiding certain activities such as staying sedentary a majority of the time, or excessively using drugs or alcohol can also improve your life.

Creating more happiness in your life makes it easier for you to feel less down about the things that can’t be changed.

Here are some articles that’ll give you great ideas on what you can do now to boost your mood.

2. Forgive yourself

An inability to forgive ourselves for our past mistakes prevents us from accepting the unchangeable.

We have these constant thoughts of what we could have done differently and wishing we could change things.

You may have made one of the worst decisions any person could make, but despite that, you can still forgive yourself.

Think about if a friend or family member made a terrible mistake that they were continually regretting every day of their life.

You would tell them to forgive themselves and let go of the negative feelings related to that mistake.

Sometimes we need to remember to give ourselves the same level of compassion we would to those we care for.

There’s no use in continuing to punish yourself for what you did. If you’ve struggled to figure out how to forgive yourself and accept your past, these articles can be helpful to you.

3. Find the lesson

When you actively try to find the lesson in what can’t change, in a subtle way, you’re giving yourself permission to move forward.

You’re focusing less on what happened, and more on the meaning you can gain from what happened.

Spend time reflecting on the things that you can do better as a result of your mistakes. Find purpose in how you live moving forward.

That’s how you can not only accept what can no longer be changed, but also benefit from it through making better decisions that’ll make you happier in the future.

Here are some great articles on learning lessons in life.

Final thoughts on acceptance

Sometimes the issue may be that you’re just not ready to accept what’s happened in your life.

It’s okay to give yourself time to mourn or feel whatever you need to feel for a time period.

Once you’ve had time to feel your emotions, you can try the tips above to help you start getting to a place of acceptance.

Healing from the pain of your past is possible. Slowly but surely, you can accept all the things that have happened to you.

Then, you’ll be able to move forward and start living your life to the fullest.

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