I have been in Sudan for 5 years now and I’ve been through it all. When I first got here, I was excited about being in a new country and I was looking forward
to all the new experiences that are coming my way, I was simply excited. My sister kept warning me about the monotony of life here, but I never gave her
much attention as I always felt that Sudan is an interesting place. The first year went well, with new opportunities opening up before me. Looking back at
it, it was simply my beginner’s luck which was mentioned by Paulo Coelho in his book “The Alchemist”. Slowly as years passed I fell into the monotony that my
sister warned me about earlier. I found myself falling into complete depression, I was a single mother of a young child, I hardly found pleasure in
my work as a school teacher, I was constantly trying to work harder to collect money that would easily be spent on endless bills, I hardly spent time with my
child and family, I hardly had friends outside work. I felt like life was against me, and the whole community was judging me for my situation which I had
no control in. I rejected my situation and I was extremely resentful to anything coming my way. I was also growing bitter and extremely judgmental of
others. I was only watching my life pass before my eyes without trying to do anything about it. In other words, I hated my life and everything happening in it. I started becoming extremely negative, I developed anxiety attacks and my health was deteriorating.
Only this year, I chose to stop being passive about my life and decided to be more active about it and take control of it regardless of what is happening around
me. When I decided to read Kiss That Frog by Brian Tracy, I thought I needed something to keep me occupied to distract me from my current situation, but
what this book did is bring me back to reality and help me create a new insight of my situation. I was able to understand a bit of what is going around me,
just a mere glimpse of my current life. Acceptance was one of the things I came across in the book which really helped me get over my on-going rejection of my
own life. In his article in Psychology Today “The Power of Acceptance: How an attitude of acceptance can transform your experience” Steve Taylor summed
everything up in one sentence: “an attitude of acceptance can neutralize unpleasant and irritating experiences –and even sometimes transform them into pleasant ones.”
Acceptance is one of the most difficult things in life. I’m not talking about accepting others and yourself, it goes beyond that. For you to have the peace of mind and the mental tranquility you need to focus on your goals so you are able to achieve more in life and you need to accept your fate (what is happening around
you and to you). Acceptance clears your mind from all the stress and helps you have a clearer vision of what you are truly facing. On the contrary, rejecting
your situation can only cause you pain since you can’t change your reality as Megan Bruneau mentioned in a beautiful article on Mindbodygreen. Megan
continues to explain the reality of acceptance by projecting on its true meaning in her article “5 Things everyone should know about acceptance”. She notes
that once you realize that accepting your current situation does not mean you are approving of it, but that you are capable of working towards changing your life to meet your goals, you will feel more in control.
Accept the situation that you are already in at this very moment, recognize it and realize that no matter how tough it is, it is out of your control. Being sad, upset or angry about a situation will never change your reality nor resolve it, it will only make you become more resentful towards life.
It is not in your control!
Facing your situation can be very difficult but it has to be done no matter how hard it is. Accepting your situation might mean you are recognizing all the loved
ones you lost, all the wrong decisions you made, all the mistakes you have committed. This is far from easy but it will help you shift your focus to solving your situation rather than sobbing over it and go from being the passenger in the backseat to the person in the driver seat who is in control of the vehicle. Yes you can never change what is around you but you can always control yourself, your thoughts and your reactions. It is a matter of rewiring your brain and your thought process, so instead of victimizing yourself because of what you are going through, look at what you can do with the little you are given. In a game of cards, if your cards are not that good, you will try your best to win at the end of the game, because you know very well that these are the cards you were dealt and being upset over your cards will take you nowhere. However, understanding what you can do with what you have might win you the game.
Our obsession with wanting to control everything around us is what brings us despair, depression and stress. It is not in your control! Keep reminding yourself that you are trying your best to get there but whatever happens, from obstacles to challenges, are out of your control forces that will cross your path regardless of what you really want. Acceptance is also another form of ‘going with the flow’, once you feel that you are one with what is happening around you and to you, you will learn a lot about why things are happening in their own way. Meanwhile, all you can do is to work hard towards your personal and professional life, focus on the bigger picture and not the details. Accept everything from your salary to your position, from your marital status to your family and extended family members, most importantly the country that you are in whether you like it or not, it is not in your control!
I was once advised by a very good friend of mine to imagine that I am looking at a unique graceful painting, if I keep focusing on the strokes and the insignificant small details, I will miss on the greater painting. One of my advices to you, whenever you are faced with an ordeal or an obstacle in your life, give yourself sometime alone to absorb the situation and recognize its impact on your life and try to refocus your attention towards your life goal and true mission. Remind yourself that you need to keep moving no matter how hard and time consuming it is.
You are the only thing that you can control in this life. You can control your reaction to things happening around you and you can control how hard you work
towards achieving your goals and dreams.