Acceptance: Choosing to Live With the Things We Cannot Change

365 Messages of Hope, Humor & Heart for Caregivers – #10

living-with-things-we-cannot-changeThose of us who are members of the Baby Boomer generation have lived through several decades of unprecedented growth and opportunity. We’ve seen tremendous advances in science and technology. We grew up believing that our lives would get better with each passing year. We thought if we were smart, honest, and worked hard enough that we could overcome any challenge, cure every illness, and fix the world’s problems.

That may be why it comes as such a shock when our care receivers don’t get better in spite of all we do for them. We desperately search for silver-bullet solutions that will cure their disease, stop the pain, or restore their memories. We want our loved ones to stay young, feel good, and be happy.

When we can’t make things better for them, we feel like we have failed.

Here’s what I’d like for you to think about today: We do not have the power to turn back the clock. We cannot control anyone else’s behavior or attitude. And finally, there are some problems for which there are no solutions.

If you are caring for someone who is suffering physically or emotionally, take a step back. Look at the situation dispassionately. Assess what is within your power to fix, control, change or improve. Make a plan to do what is doable, and let the rest go. It’s hard to accept that there are limits to what we can do to help another person. But if you can release the responsibility of doing what is impossible, it could relieve some tension between you and your care receiver. Learning to accept the unacceptable and choosing to live with the things we cannot change could reduce your stress and free up space in your heart and mind for more positive things in your life. If you can do that, it will be better for everyone.