Acceptance of Reality

Book Reviews

… is key to ending the suffering of emotional pain. Excerpted from an article by Margarita Tartakovsky M.S., published at, USA, on May 17, 2015.

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Calming the Emotional StormAll of us experience pain. This pain might stem from losing a loved one, losing a job, ending a relationship, being in a car accident or undergoing any other kind of trauma or situation. Pain is inevitable. It is part of being human. Often, however, we add to our pain and create suffering, according to Sheri Van Dijk, MSW, in her book Calming the Emotional Storm.

Van Dijk, a mental health therapist in Ontario, Canada, shares insights on everything from validating our emotions to being more effective in our lives to getting through a crisis to improving our relationships.

We create suffering by not accepting reality. For instance, we say things like “It’s not fair,” “Why me?”, “This shouldn’t have happened” or “I can’t bear it!” Our instinct is to fight the pain, she writes. Normally, this instinct is protective. But in the cases of pain, it backfires. We might avoid our pain or pretend it isn’t present. We might turn to unhealthy behaviors. We might ruminate about our suffering, without doing anything about it. We might turn to substances to forget the pain.

Instead, the key is to accept your reality. “Acceptance simply means that you stop trying to deny your reality and you acknowledge it instead,” says Van Dijk.

Acceptance does not mean that you approve of a situation or that you don’t want it to change. Acceptance is not a synonym for forgiveness, either. It doesn’t have to do with anyone else. “Acceptance is simply about whether or not you want to continue spending so much time and energy experiencing all of these painful emotions about a situation,” she writes.

Forgiveness is optional, according to Van Dijk. But acceptance is necessary for moving forward. “We can’t act to change things until we recognize them as they really are.”

Acceptance is powerful. Once we accept reality, our anger tends to decrease. The painful situation loses the power it has over us. While the pain doesn’t go away, the suffering does.

Focus on the present. Don’t try to accept something in the future, such as “you’ll never have a long-term relationship.” We have no idea what the future holds. Instead, you might work on accepting that you’re currently not in a relationship — if that’s bringing you suffering.

Again, emotional pain is part of all our lives. However, we create needless suffering when we don’t accept reality. We stop ourselves from making healthy changes. When we practice acceptance, we let ourselves move on, we open the door to freedom and we take steps to improve our lives. Acceptance can be hard. But it’s something we can practice.

Excerpted from

You never suffer nearly as much as you imagine you suffer.
You never suffer the illnesses you most dread
nor the miseries that you fear.
Ninety percent of your suffering is psychological;
only ten percent is real.
If the ninety percent, the imaginary ills,
were to be eliminated,
the real ills would be easily overcome.
There is a way to overcome them.
There is a way to step outside of them and be freed from all ills.
It is you who magnify them so much that you become small;
then you tremble and think you can do nothing.

Osho, The Great Path, Ch 9 (translated from Hindi, excerpt)

Quote by Osho added by Osho News

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