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Accepting What You Can and Cannot Change part 2

It’s crucial, as words go in the song “The Gambler,” to know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em. It’s vital to recognize when and where to pitch your tent and it’s just as vital to accept when it’s time to pack everything up and go home. In my previous blog, I described aspects of our lives that are possible to change, including friends, eating, job, lifestyle, and partners. Here are some fairly permanent features in our lives:

We cannot change our:

· family of origin with whom we’re stuck for better or worse. They were there when we came into the world and tend to want to stick to us like burrs. We can try to pretend they’re not our relatives, but they are our flesh and blood whether we like it or not. Of course, we can regulate distance from them and even choose to be estranged from them. But we can’t re-invent the past. That feat can only be done with the future.

· the past because it’s, well, already happened. We can think about it night and day, worry about what we did wrong, try to blot out what happened to us and curse those who harmed us, wish fervently that our early years had been different, and beat ourselves up for the fact that it wasn’t. Sadly, we can do everything but change it.

· losses because most of them are gone forever. Sure, that old beau may suddenly turn up in your life again, but odds are that he or she won’t. What’s gone stays gone no matter how much it hurts. So, since we can’t change the “goneness,” we must change what we can, which is the pain that losses cause. By accepting loss, we actually make it easier, not harder, to bear.

· traumatic experiences because they are over and there’s no way for a do-over. Like losses, we must inevitably accept that bad things happened to us and that they are part of our history as well as the good things that occurred. Fortunately, we can change the meaning of traumatic (or adverse) experiences by understanding that we did nothing to cause the trauma and were a victim of it. That choice is ours.

· genetics no matter how much we wish to have a different (better, to us) body structure. What we inherited can be upgraded a bit, but not as much as we’d like to think. It will save you a great deal of frustration, sadness, disappointment and heartache to accept your body shape. In terms appearance, we all get to do the best we can with what we start off with.

Now that you’ve read about what’s changeable and what isn’t, consider where you’ve been putting your energy. If it’s to change what’s fixed, surrender, Dorothy. If you haven’t been focusing energy on what you can change, now’s the time to start.

Best,

Karen

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