If I could give one piece of advice which would help others gain more control of their lives and become more centered it would be to…Make Friends with Reality. Here is precisely what I mean.
When something profoundly negative happens in our lives, something that we do not want to happen, there is a tendency to go in to denial. There are various methods and tricks of the mind that we use to accomplish this. We can simply ignore what is obvious to everyone else. We can blame our family friends, our boss, our friends, our team members, society, another country or God. We can lapse into profound depression or become dependent on pharmaceuticals.
None of these solutions allows us to deal with the challenge at hand. In fact, all these choices and many more actually strip us of our ability to deal with and solve a problem. The reality is: by denying, we give up the opportunity to be in control, and when we feel out of control, we can exhibit all sorts of self-destructive behavior.
There are so many examples of this issue that I could write a massive missive on the subject but here are three examples that come immediately to mind. On a personal level: A husband or wife shows signs of Alzheimer’s. The thought is so horrific that the partner writes it off to simply aging or creates some other excuse. By denying, treatment is delayed. I have also seen denial kick in and delay treatment for many other illnesses. On a business level, managers and leaders blame their lack of vision and expertise on their team members or refuse to believe reports about bullying or dishonesty taking place behind the scenes. In sports, there’s denial of fellow team members using performance-enhancing drugs or the child abuse scandal which is still unfolding. I am fairly certain that you could pick up today’s newspaper and find many more examples.
So what can you do? You can take a long, hard, realistic look at your habits, behavior, the quality of your relationship and your life in general. You can see things as they really are, not as you want or hope they will be. You can let go of trying to change someone else and give up on hoping that someone else will change. You can identify what you can control and let go of the rest. Make friends with reality – beginning now.