The Things We Cannot Change
“…the underlying roots of unhappiness – and the surprising secret to finding freedom and fulfillment. There are certain facts of life that we cannot change – the unavoidable “givens” of human existence: (1) everything changes and ends, (2) things do not always go according to plan, (3) life is not always fair, (4) pain is a part of life, and (5) people are not loving and loyal all the time.” From the book “The Five Things We Cannot Change…and The happiness we Find by Embracing Them”
I purchased The Five Things We Cannot Change…and the Happiness we Find by Embracing Them. I’ve read parts of this book in the past, but the quote I’m using from the book for my opening paragraph on this post always stuck with me. Although I don’t always remember the “five things,” I do eventually remember and am able to get a grip on myself and can then use other tools I’ve learned to aid me to get past or let go whatever the situation is and eventually reduce my own suffering.
I’ve listed each of the five and have added my comments to each:
1. Everything changes (and ends): The one constant in this life, from what I’ve learned in 46 years, is everything changes. Everything. Everything ends, too. Everything comes to an end at some point.
2. Things don’t always go as planned: I hate this one because I’m a planner. It’s due to a social anxiety complex I’m working on, but as of this moment, I cannot just “up and go” to dinner or camping. I have to plan that shit out. So, although I understand and agree with it, I do not like it one bit.
3. Life is not always fair: We all figured this out before ten years of age, but it’s still a bitch when you are the one to which life is unfair. I hate being that guy – the guy that is left out for whatever reason. The guy with the dog poo on his shoe…this guy.
4. Pain is a part of life or Suffering is part of Life: I think should be “Suffering is part of life” because the word “pain” leads one to think “physical” pain. Suffering begs the question, “In what way?” Physical pain (more as I get older) and mental pain are both pain. Because of Rule 3., you better suck it up and tough it out. Be the best you can be right now at this moment. Learn from the past, be in the preset, and forget about the future.
5. People are not loving and loyal all the time: This is a killer. You don’t learn, really learn, this until you are in a long-term relationship, married, or you’ve been fortunate enough to learn your parents are people just like we are and they are not loving and loyal all the time to each other or to us.
6. No one is looking out for you except you: I didn’t see this until later in life. For example, when your wife, husband, child, parents, or another that is very close to you, makes a decision that benefits them and in doing so degraded your benefit in some way. Lying comes to mind here – people lie to hide a truth that the person from whom they are hiding it would benefit them and take away a benefit from you. They are not in this for you any more than you are in this life for me.
Six isn’t in the book, but I think it fits the list.