I was talking to a counselor recently and we discovered we both have the same little plaque prominently displayed in our respective offices: “It is what it is.” That is a phrase that I have been known to use from time to time with individuals who have had difficulty dealing with the reality of their lives. Yesterday I heard on Family Life Radio: “Expectations – Reality= Disappointment –> Bitterness” . When one is stuck in unrealistic expectations about life, about othe…rs, about themselves, about God, about……..you name it……..she may become bitter and resentful, bemoaning the “unfairness” of it all, futilely trying to control others or circumstances to make them be what she desires, or seeking escape from the pain she feels in any of a number of addictive behaviors. This is part of the reason that the recovery process is so similar to the grief process….both, worked well, eventually lead one to acceptance and a “new” normal in life. However, with recovery, there can even be gratitude and joy for what one has experienced, as the new life is so much better than the old! That is seldom the case with the grief from bereavement of a deceased loved one.
Helping recalibrate one’s expectations of life, learning to recognize and adapt to unchangeable circumstances, and practicing skills to manage one’s own response to the reality of life while cultivating the resilience, courage, perseverance, and resourcefulness to do what one can for herself without manipulating or using others……all while learning to recognize and embrace God’s will…..is what we do at Titus 2. How does one do it? Like the proverbial eating of the elephant…..”one bite at a time”….one day at a time….one step at a time…..one issue at a time….one decision at a time. How long does it take? As long as necessary for the individual to begin to know how to do it successfully herself and to know that, even though she will miss the mark from time to time, she can self-correct and continue to progress with Christ’s presence, because she has the tools and knowledge to not merely survive, but to thrive!
Accept what is. Let go of what was. And have faith in what will be.