In this blog post, I’m going to go into more detail about what I believe acceptance is and how I have managed to use that belief to get through the things I have been through.

I’m in my mid 40’s and as I look around at the friends my age, I see that no-one gets to this point in their lives without being battered and bruised in some way. No-one has the exact life they set out to have. Everyone has had things that have pushed them ‘off course’ and onto another road they didn’t expect to be on.

There is one advantage I have had because everything went pear shaped when I was so young and that is that I really don’t know any different. I have had to learn from a very young age that I wasn’t always going to get what I wanted and to be grateful for what I do get.

For me, acceptance is the ability to say “It is what it is!” and try to make the best out of what is going on. That isn’t to say that I don’t feel heartbroken that I have missed out on things or that certain things have or haven’t happened.

For me, it’s looking at a situation or circumstance that I can’t do anything to change and then deciding that I will find another option and just keep moving forward with my life. It hurts. These times have been heartbreaking and have at times brought me close to breaking point but I just figure that things weren’t meant to be.

I’m not a very spiritual person but I do believe that things happen the way they are meant to happen in life.

It is heartbreaking realising that something you have imagined in your head just isn’t meant to be. I think back over my life and I would have loved to have come from a loving and supportive family. I would have loved to have had a stable home and gotten a proper education.

Lately, I have been wondering where my life would have taken me had I not been through everything I have. I would’ve loved to have been a lawyer. Seriously, I love a good argument so much that I would pick a fight with myself in the mirror given half the chance.

I could go to University now to study Law etc but I won’t because I know that, being in my mid 40’s with two young children, any career in Law I have is not going to be the type of career I want to have because of my age. I would love to be a hard ball litigator or a prosecutor but I know to achieve that you have to work hard for many years and I’m on the wrong side of 40 in that regard.

It’s disappointing but do you know what?! It just wasn’t meant to be. That wasn’t the path I was supposed to go down and I’m okay with that. I’m at peace with it.

Over the last few years, I’ve been through a marriage breakdown. That was hard. I didn’t marry just so it would end in divorce but that’s what happened. I tried to make it work but it too just wasn’t meant to be.

I would love to have a close family around me delighting in my children as they grow up. My children have grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins that they have no contact with because of my childhood. It makes me sad because being around my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins were some of my favourite parts of my childhood but it wasn’t meant to be for my children.

Do you know what I’ve done instead? I have created my own little extended family for my children. They have people in their lives who are like aunts and uncles and cousins, even though they aren’t called that. These people delight in my children the way an extended family would if they have them.

When something doesn’t happen the way you hope it does, it doesn’t mean that your life is over. It doesn’t mean you aren’t meant to be happy.

It just means that thing wasn’t meant to be. Maybe you will carry the pain of things not working out the way you wanted to for the rest of your life but it doesn’t mean that your life is over.

It doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve happiness or that your dreams will never come true

I know a lot of parents who have children who have passed away. I don’t think I’ve seen heartache and grief like it before, and I’ve been through enough of it to know. It is brutal. It is soul crushing. No-one should ever have to lose a child but they do.

But each of these parents know they have had to find acceptance in the midst of the brutality of what they have been through in order to move on. That acceptance has come in different ways and at different times for each of them but they all know that they can’t change what has happened, as unfair and cruel as it is.

They have all gotten to the point where they know it is what it is. Sh*t happens.

I have noticed over the years that life isn’t easy for anyone. There are definitely some people that seem to have it extra hard and that sucks. None of us get to choose what happens in our lives. It would be so much easier if we did, but it doesn’t work that way!

I haven’t had the life I would have liked to have had. I would’ve liked things to be a little less bumpy than they have been but I haven’t had a bad life overall. I have had amazing things happen and I am so grateful they have. They have definitely balanced out the bad.

To me, acceptance is the only way of getting through what life throws at us. Something may not have happened the way that you wanted it to but that doesn’t mean your life is over. Look at my life!

Please take it from me that life doesn’t work out the way anyone wants it to but that doesn’t mean that we can’t or won’t know happiness or that our life is ‘over’. It just means we need to try something else.

As someone whose life hasn’t been anywhere near the way I have wanted it to be but it hasn’t ended at that point in time, there is still happiness and fulfilment out there for you. I have lived it day in and day out in my life. I’ve seen it over and over again.

Acceptance to me is feeling the emotions you feel because something hasn’t happened the way you wanted them to and then picking yourself up and making the best of what has happened.

There is so much more for each of us out there. None of us have everything happen the way we want it to. The difference is some people get stuck feeling miserable because things haven’t been the way they wanted them to be and they miss out on the other good things that can bring them happiness.

Don’t be one of those people. Don’t miss out on other opportunities because you haven’t accepted that a certain one wasn’t meant to be.

All my love, Gretel xx