Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Accepting a Harsh Reality

“For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Accepting hard things graciously,
Just how does one do that?
Of those things that hold tenaciously...
The best advice is to have a chat.
None of us really skirt this issue, of grappling with a harsh reality that we may even struggle to believe has happened. Reeling against disbelief, or maybe just overwhelmed by our inner angst, we come to a place of reality in a situation of reality.
The experience of reality and the situation of reality are two different things.
We experience reality when we stare the situation of reality directly in its face.
That is the situation that is far too hard to cope with for many of us, at least initially. We are given to all sorts of measures of coping; many of them maladaptive and possibly harmful to our health, and even to others’ health.
As we reach in within ourselves in that tremulous moment, at the point of decision, to stay or to run, we may know deep down that to stay is wise, but we also know at a conscious level, to run is to reach an immediate comfort that feels good.
It is good not to judge ourselves, or condemn ourselves, having sought comfort. There are people who say, “Go seek your comfort in God!” But they may not follow the same advice. They may be the ones – like the rest of us – who seek comfort apart from the harsh reality.
What can we do?
One sure-fire way of dealing with the reality that is hard to stomach is to reach out to a person who will listen, who won’t be quick to judge or offer a clichéd response.
This person will be a wise person in our sight. They will offer us wisdom that we haven’t known before; wisdom, all the same, that seems so simple, we wonder why we didn’t think of it before. Then we accept that they were there for such a time this, to help us in our moment of need, as we are there for the next person in their moment of need.
Grappling with a harsh reality can never be easy, but we can reach a healthy acceptance, especially as we share our burden with the trusted wise adviser. We are made better by sharing our confusion with a safe person. Somehow, in sharing we begin to see our reality differently. Reality doesn’t change, we do; and we can adapt.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.

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