I once coached a young woman torn by the conflicting chambers of her life – career, personal life, husband, and young child. Her supervisor told me Maria’s complaining, whining, and wallowing in self-pity could no longer be tolerated. I was brought in as a last resort.
I listened to Maria without comment as she laid out how impossible her life was. I was moved as she described what she saw as a hopeless situation that was causing her to be depressed. As she concluded her assessment of her life, I presented her with another viewpoint. “You are in a season of life where the pressures you are describing will not soon go away. Instead of rejecting the conflicts of your life and how you got to where you are, accept the universe of this period of your life, knowing that the pressure you are under will be greatly reduced within two years. The career you have chosen is extremely time-consuming at the beginning for everyone, and not accepting that ‘it is what it is’ will only frustrate you and cause others to be disturbed by your behavior.” I then suggested ways for her to cope with her multiple priorities to lessen the sense of frustration and guilt and said I would call in two weeks.
When I called two weeks later, she sounded chipper. I asked how things were going, and she replied, “I have learned to accept the universe and it has made my life bearable. My job is going much better, my relationship with my husband has improved, and little Sofia has her mother back. It’s not that everything is perfectly manageable, but I am so much happier that I have accepted this is the way my life will be for a time. I am no longer depressed.”
I have had that epiphany from three of my clients after they have learned to accept the universe.