words to live by: hold on for one more day
conquering the past to improve the present

accepting what is: 4 phrases to forget


"Things are as they are.
Looking out into the universe at night
we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars,
nor between well and badly arranged constellations."

Alan Watts

Accepting what is is key to living a positive, present life. To live in the now, one must accept the now as it is. One cannot wish it is something else or create stories in his or her mind of how it should be. Many of us know this, but struggle to find ways to be accepting of ourselves and others. We wonder how we are to live life without judgments. We wonder how we are to live in a world where we often want things to be different, a world in which we are bombarded by the things we should be and say and do, without passing judgement. It's not wrong to want change, but how can you reconcile the idea of wanting change and accepting what is?

The truth is: it's difficult. Very difficult. It's a daily struggle, accepting what is. You must accept yourself, your colleagues, your partner, your friends. You must accept your job, your relationships, your situations, the weather. There is so much one must accept if he or she is to live in the present moment and it's hard to do on a moment-to-moment basis. But here's the thing: you've gotta try to bring acceptance into your life if you want to live a positive present life. And a good place to start is with the things you stay to yourself. Below are four phrases you need to forget. 

4 Factious Phrases to Forget 

"I wish..."
Wishing for a better tomorrow is no crime, but what does all that wishing really get you? I say, take that wish you've been thinking about and do something about it. Acceptance isn't the same as settling. To be happy, you must accept what is happening now, but take action (right now!) to make the situation better. Stop wishing and start looking at the changes you can make to make the present more positive.  

"I should have..."

Let me tell you something: looking back and thinking about what you should have done doesn't do anything. It's a waste of your time -- unless you take action now. If you should have said/done something differently, go tell that person what you would have liked to have said/done. Or, better yet, just say it or do it. Don't dwell on the past; take action to make the present, and ultimately your future, exactly what you want it to be. 

"If only I had..."

If only you had a better thing/situation/person in your life, then you could make all your dreams come true, right? Wrong. If you need something more in your life to make the present a positive place, go out and get it. Can't get it? Find a way to work around it. Use the energy spent on saying "if only I had..." to creatively make the most of what you've got. And remember: what you really need, you already have. 

"It would be better if..."

Yes, it would be better if the sun was shining, you weren't being nagged, you were filthy rich, you had the love of your life, etc., etc. If you spend time focusing on the things that could be better, you're wasting time that could be spent on making things better. Use the present moment not to dwell on what could be improved, but to take action and start improving it. (And let things like the weather go -- you can't impact them.) 

As much as I'd love to sit here and tell you that it's easy to stop saying these things, to accept what is, there's just no getting around the fact that it's not. I struggle with it every day. I want to be living a different life -- writing full time, being self employed -- but I'm not doing that yet. I have to stay present while also looking forward to the future. It's a balance between accepting what's happening now and looking forward to what's happening next. After all, if I hadn't had the desire to do something different, I wouldn't be making steps toward making the life I want to be living. 

Remember: it's okay to have a dream, a wish, a hope. It's okay to want things other than what you have right now. But it's not okay not to accept what's happening all around you. Because, just as the quote above states, things are as they are. We give them the labels of right or wrong, bad or good, but the everything is what it is. We must stop saying the things that force us to deny acceptance because it is this lack of accepting what is that lead us to unhappiness. Instead, we must embrace what's happening now and take action today to make our future a place we'll be happy to accept. 


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This post was perfect for me today. I am starting a relationship for the first time, and it's confusing sometimes to hear the way other people think "things SHOULD be" or what is "right" or "wrong" when everything seems normal to me. I have found myself thinking or using some of the phrases you posted, and you are right...thinking and saying does no help at all.

One thing I have been saying to myself that makes me feel better (thanks Google billboard) is "why not?" For the little things, it helps. And it makes me actually DO those things too!

Thank you for this. Each point came back to the idea that you need to take action and work with what you have, love. So much more empowering than wishing and hoping, which is where I usually get stuck.

Dana - I'm so glad this post spoke to you today. "Why not?" is a great phrase to use. I'm glad you brought that up! And I hope you use that in your relationship. There isn't always one "right" way to do something!

MK - You're welcome! It's true; we must take action in our lives. I hope you found this empowering!

Thank you so much for this post. I have printed it off so I can read it again and again. It speaks to that part of me that loves to second guess and punish myself for the things that aren't perfect (you know the way everyone else seems online...lol). I use the phrase 'it is what it is' although often that feels like resignation not acceptance.

Oh this is good. I so easily get in my head all the time, and can sometimes not just let things be or get too what if I did this and that too much. Like now, I have to buy a car and was waiting to do it in a few months but apparently something bigger is telling me to dump this car. finally! lol Waiting really gets you nowhere fast! I found myself getting very agitated with the quote responses I've been receiving and decided tonight, go with my gut, don't go too overboard, and you still have to enjoy life - and I will not have the stress of this old bad karma car over me. =)

Cynthia - You're welcome! I'm so glad you printed this out to read. "It is what it is" is a great phrase to use to stay focused on what's happening now and not dwell on what could be.

Saggleo - Sounds like you're on your way to getting the new car! It can be a good thing to wait sometimes, but more often than not, waiting and wishing doesn't get you anywhere. Good luck with the new ride!

Yes! Whenever one of these phrases pops into your mind. Be present and positive or positive and present. Two powerful words!

Derrick - Accepting what is is so important when it comes to living a positive and present life and using those two words - "positive" and "present" - can definitely serve as great inspiration for acceptance.

Love this post gorgeous! I couldn't agree more that when you start to accept where you are and create action to get further rather than simply wishing or regretting, things start to move in the right direction. Wonderful reminders, thank you! x

Kimberley - Thank you so much! This week I'm taking major action in my life -- quitting my job to be a writer! -- and as scary as it is, it feels so right. Thanks for reading -- and for continuing to inspire me with your ebook. A must-read for anyone ready for action: http://dreamdelightinspire.com/ebook/

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