Fixing life

Change what can be changed.

Change what can be changed.

Life’s full of things we can’t fix.

Things happen, to us and others, that aren’t fair, aren’t of our making and sometimes happen for no apparent reason.

Sometimes mistakes we make have unexpected consequences; they can change lives forever and we would give anything to take them back. Often, small examples of our own limitations drive us insane. We know the consequences but we do them anyway.

Worrying about things we can’t change can be like being eaten from the inside out. A broken romance, a job loss, dealing with aging parents, our own mortality –circumstances that we can’t change and that weigh us down.

We can’t just, in delusional positivity, pretend they don’t exist. But we can look at things optimistically, with reality and clarity, and assess likely outcomes. If it’s a small mistake that caused embarrassment or hurt feelings perhaps time will take care of it.

If it’s a significant matter, such as a serious illness or marriage breakdown, we can learn to cope with the reality as best we can and not absorb ourselves in ‘what ifs’.

The optimist chooses to believe they can make all things better, sometimes in the face of reason itself.

The pessimist chooses to see the worst in every situation, so they won’t be hurt by disappointment, living by the maxim of the worst-case scenario, absorbed by self-pity.

Life is what we make it. Perhaps this works best when we accept reality but look optimistically towards what our future can hold.

Whichever way we choose to look at life, there’s a fundamental truth: life is full of things we can’t fix. But every day we’re faced with many things that we can.

Those are the things we should focus on.


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