I am 54 now, and think that I am doing fine. In fact, sometimes I feel that quality of life has never been so good: free of impulses, worries, more warmth, more creativity, spontaneous.
So, why is it, we as a race, are so poor at predicting our future happiness? Sometime back, I read a book “Stumbling on Happiness” by Daniel Gilbert (thank you Karen, for the book!) more.
As I have understood, it is because we lack emotional intelligence- and also we will not trust others’ wisdom: for example- think, if your mother, father or grandparents made a match for you, will you trust their wisdom or your feelings for the girl you are in love with..today?
When we try to imagine future, we tend to pick out selective things and base our judgement on that. We rarely doubt our mind. Some years back, I went on a trek to Rupin pass – dreaming of great fun and adventure. I did have fun but also long spells of rain- and finally had to be airlifted out of SANGLA by IAF!
All this and much more came to me recently, when I met a young pws friend whom I had tried to help as a counselor about an year ago. I believe in learning (more) from my failures and this case was obviously a failure- from my perspective. So, I asked him indirectly- what went wrong? how was it that he never fully engaged and went off a tangent…
His reply was illustrative of the problem we all face as human race. He said: I ran off because I thought you would ask me to accept my stammering. I just could not tolerate the thought of spending another day as a stammerer..
Wherever he is, I wish him all peace and success. I know that things will change for him- no matter what he does or fails to do. That is the nature of life. If it goes down, it comes up too. Of course, I tried to help him understand that acceptance in his case meant – OK, I acknowledge that I have a problem. But instead of hating my problem and bashing my head against it day after day, let me think calmly what can I do to help myself..
Problem with most of us is: We keep looking at the closed door with such anger and for so long- that we fail to see the open doors next to it..
Acceptance of the present moment does not preclude use of human freewill to act- but when you act from a calm position of accepting yourself as you are this moment, you achieve much more and move forward easily- otherwise you enter a dysfunctional relationship with “my stammering”, which may bog you down for many years.. because as they say: Stammering is what YOU do, in order not to stammer..
Here is a beautiful talk by Eckhart Tolle about how acceptance and human free will, can act in consonance (not in opposition). It is deep and one may have to watch it couple of times.. and discuss it in your SHG or with a friend..
In conclusion, let me say, for me acceptance is an attitude to life itself- not just to speech, sickness or loss..and it has made my life at 54 happier than I thought at 18, was ever possible.