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Tiny Wisdom: Peace Is Accepting This Moment

“Serenity comes when you trade expectations for acceptance.” ~Unknown

Yesterday I felt frustrated.

The night before, I’d overheard my boyfriend telling a friend he’d thought I’d be in less pain at that point, a week after my surgery. Suddenly I felt disappointed in myself—that I should be healing more quickly, or somehow doing more.

Of course I know he didn’t intend for me to feel that way, especially since it was a conversation that didn’t involve me, but I created that meaning in my head, probably because I’d also expected that I’d feel better sooner.

I had a bad headache yesterday, and I was somewhat dehydrated, so I ended doing very little beyond listening to a healing meditation, watching TV, and sleeping—translation: I crossed nothing off my to-do list. And it’s getting pretty long.

So I started mining my situation for lessons, and here’s what I remembered:

We are more than we produce. Even if we feel we have a lot to do, sometimes doing nothing is the healthiest choice of all.

We owe it to ourselves to be patient with ourselves. Even if we feel we should be doing more, we’re doing the best we can.

We deserve to be kind to ourselves. Even if we accomplish great things in life, they won’t provide us with satisfaction if we don’t already have our own love and compassion.

We need to remember we have time. Even if we’re using this moment to recharge, we can trust that things will get done—when we’re in a better place to do them.

We have a choice to make in this moment. Even if we feel frustrated, or scared, or confused, we can choose to make peace with the present instead of fighting and resisting it.

We might not feel productive, or engaged, or purposeful, or connected. But this moment is a chance be present in our experience and embrace the lessons and possibilities of the here and now.

We can only grow from right where we stand, but first we have to accept it.

Photo by Wonderlane

Avatar of Lori Deschene

About Lori Deschene

Tiny Buddha Founder Lori Deschene is the author of the Tiny Wisdom eBook series (which includes one free eBook) & co-founder of Recreate Your Life Story, an eCourse that helps you get unstuck & change your life. She's now seeking stories to include in her next book, 365 Tiny Love Challenges by Tiny Buddha. Click here to share your story! For inspiring posts and wisdom quotes, follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter & Facebook.

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  • Bettina

    Oh how I needed to read this post today. With a four week old I have achieved barely anything in the last few days. Ok let’s be honest, the last four weeks. Actually wait no. I’m looking after a helpless tiny human. Perspective is everything, isn’t it.

    Bettina@ http://lovelylittleone.blogspot.com

  • AJ

    I’ve been healing from a broken ankle that was complicated by complex regional pain syndrome… I’m almost three months into the healing process and constantly hear comments about how long it’s taking, which at times, makes me feel like something is wrong with me. Then I remind myself that right now, I’m healing as I should, in the time my body needs to recover. It’s given me another perspective on life as my healing process has made me stop and be still to also heal myself emotionally instead of burying it away. Everything happens for a reason :) and deep down, even on my not-so-great days, I still appreciate the blessing in disguise x and trust that my body is doing its thing! Love and healing your way xo

  • http://www.adesignsovast.com/ Lindsey

    Oh, I love this… reminds me a bit of what I wrote today, which is about realizing the perfection that exists even in a weekend full of strife.  I have to both see it and accept it.  

  • Jenna Beaulieu

    “We can only grow from where we stand.” Makes SO MUCH sense. And the sentence has such a rhythm to it… sounds like mantra material to me!

  • Lv2terp

    Fantastic reminder, thank you Lori for your vulnerability, sharing your experiences,  and wisdom daily with us, I value Tiny Buddha every single day!!!!! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1505674242 Kerry Johnston

    We can only grow from right where we stand, but first we have to accept it.Love Love Love this.

    Hope you feel better, every day.

  • prestonc

    “To do” lists are nice, and very essential for many of us. But I also like “Was done” lists, which I sometimes make late in the day. Often they include “to dos”, but just as often include “forgot to anticipate” or “unexpected” items. 

    One of my “to dos”, by the way, is to check back for news that tiny buddha has healed and is well once again. :)

  • Pat

    Hey Lori, I too have been healing recently and I find impatience often arises.  If you are committed to making to do lists (like me!) perhaps adding “make space for companionate healing” to the list might be useful.  I think I’m going to give it a try…  Thanks you post!

  • Tana Franko

    Wow, just the title — “Peace is accepting this moment” — really struck a chord in me this morning.   Peace is something we (or at least I) so often wish for others — the world, our friends, those who are gone.  But it has to start with us, with our own acceptance in our daily lives.

    I think many of your readers, myself included, are also wishing you peace and that you allow yourself time to heal. This is no small thing you’ve gone through.  From my perspective you definitely deserve to be kind to yourself!

  • http://theviewfromherebycraig.com/ Craig Ruvere

    This
    is wonderful Lori and so very timely for me. I’ve been unemployed for a little
    over a month and though I’ve been busy at home, I often feel as though I need
    to keep moving and constantly online searching for jobs in order to avoid the
    guilt I feel that my wife is working hard to support us while I’m not. You are
    so right when you say “We
    owe it to ourselves to be patient with ourselves. Even if we feel we should be
    doing more, we’re doing the best we can.” Thank you for inspiring me today
    on this new journey I’m on. All the best to you and my prayers that you
    continue to heal a little more each day.

  • smer

    You most certainly are not doing “nothing”…you are doing one of the most important, vital and loving things that you’ve been assigned to do at this particular period of time in your life and that is allowing yourself the time to recover and heal.  Sending love and healing energy your way. 

  • http://www.smiffbib.com/ Kerry :)

    Well said :)

  • marc s.

    This is so true!I  am also not working at the monent and even though there are times when it feels like life,and the world is passing me by,I have to constantly remind myself that I AM DOING THE BEST I CAN WITH LIMITED RESOURCES.And to learn how to be satisfied with that.Of course things could be better but unfortunately,it is out of my hands and control,and fighting that will only make things more complicated and contribute to my depression.SO acceptance is the way to go……Thanks Lori so much for this post!I needed it!

  • BettyLS

    As someone who has had a few surgeries over the years, I can tell you that the body heals at its own pace. The pain is telling you to relax, to take it easy, to rest, to do whatever your body needs to heal. You are not doing nothing – your are healing yourself, the most important person in your life!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Congratulations Bettina! I can imagine having a newborn keeps you on your toes…and likely at all hours of the night. I believe what they say about motherhood…that it’s the most important job in the world. I hope to be a mother some day soon. And yes, perspective is indeed everything!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks so much AJ. I love what you wrote about slowing down and also healing yourself emotionally. I’ve been finding those lessons in this experience as well. Love and healing right back to you!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I read your post Lindsay. I love what you wrote at the end: “This life, this moment, it’s all so perfect it breaks my heart every day. And my emotional sky remains full of clouds, and it’s all still perfect.” Beautifully written. And your son looks adorable in that headband. =)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I think it may become my new mantra! =)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome, and thank you for being here!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks so much Kerry. Today was much better than yesterday actually. I just sat outside for a bit with a neighbor and her toddler son, and that was a nice change from being house-bound. Just taking it all one day at a time!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    That’s a great idea Pat. I think I’ll add that to my list right now. =) I forgot to add–I hope you feel better soon!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Good point…and thank you so much. Sending love back to you. =)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks Kerry!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome Marc! Here’s to doing our best and giving ourselves credit for it. =)

  • Connie

    Perfect timing!

    I’ve been thinking about the same thing today. I’ve been beyond frustrated by my job search. I’d like to start working soon because I’m climbing the walls and need to feel productive. Well, today I was feeling like when I get a job everything will be good, then I said to myself, it is good now. I have much to be thankful for and maybe the universe doesn’t feel I’m quite ready yet. I said to myself that me getting all worked up is silly. I decided to enjoy and accept the here and now and appreciate it. I went grocery shopping and enjoyed myself and said life is good, smiled and headed home :)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thank you Betty! This was my first, and I didn’t know what to expect. I don’t think it really hit me just what my body went through. Then today a reader who works with patients post-surgery emailed me a very detailed account, and it made me feel quite amazed with how I’m doing. Instead of thinking I’m not healing fast enough, I felt grateful for the progress I’ve made. Shifting my perspective helped a great deal!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    What a great idea…a “was done” list. I also like jotting down what I’ve accomplished. It makes me feel good to give myself credit in that way. Thank you for checking in on me. I am healing, slowly but surely!

  • Connie

    BTW, relax and let your body heal at it’s own pace. It can only heal when you take it easy and don’t overdo it. You had major surgery and it takes about six months for the body to fully heal internally…you’ll be fine :)

  • Connie

    Hi Marc,

    I can fully understand where you are coming from as I am going through the same thing too. Thanks for your insight, it really helped me :)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks so much Tana! Today I feel pretty good, physically and emotionally. I got outside today to chat with a neighbor who was sitting in our shared backyard with her son, and that really brightened my day. I think for next week, I am going to make to-do lists that include items like, “Smile,” “Talk to a neighbor,” and “Walk down the street.” These little things really make a big difference for me right now, so I might as well “give myself credit” for them!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome Craig! I understand that feeling. I think my boyfriend felt that way when we first moved to LA (because I could bring my work with me, but he needed to find a job when we got here). I’m sure your wife feels much as I did then: I knew he was doing his best, and I wanted him to experience minimal stress in the process!

  • Debdog2009

    As someone who has been through the surgery (twice!) I can tell you to be patient with yourself. I recall going to see my doc a couple of weeks out from surgery and I started to cry for no apparent reason. And believe me, I am not a crier. My doc explained that it is common for women who have this surgery to struggle with the ‘superwoman’ let down – being frustrated that you are not ‘snapping’ back like you thought you would. Don’t despair. You will feel better and stronger but it may take longer than you think. Hang in there.

  • Jessi Freedom

     Lori, please realize that surgery is a very big event for your body and mind…  I am surprised that after ONLY one week you actually have a to do list…  I think the only thing on there should be ‘REST’. The more sensitive a person one is, the more of an impact surgery will have…  Going by my own experience I think you should think weeks, or even months, before you can expect yourself to function like before – not days or one week…

    love,  Jessi

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks so much for the reassurance. I’ve definitely had that frustrated feeling at times–partly because it’s so nice outside and I feel house-bound! But it comforts me to see a little progress from day to day, even if it’s not major. Thanks again. =)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks for the advice Jessi! I think I’ve expected more of myself because none of my to-do list requires movement (it all involves my computer!) Still, I’m realizing I need to accept that I can’t do as much right now as I may have before the surgery. I’m just taking it one day at a time now. 

    Thanks again =)

    Love,
    Lori

  • Helen

    Thank you Lori. May your body heal its self in good time! I am reminded to be patient with my mental recovery as well…we are all fighting battles, and it is easier to accept what is and learn from the moment versus being frustrated.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks so much Helen. I’m sending love and good thoughts for your recovery!

  • http://www.offthemat.co.uk/ Rebecca

    Right now, I’m catching up with my favourite blogs (including this one) in an attempt to feel nourished and re-energised, while mentally berating myself for not paying immediate attention to my to-do list. Thank you for reminding me that even down time is necessary, and my to-do list will be completed when I’m good and ready.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome. Writing this helped me, and I’m so glad it’s helped you too. =)

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MTT4R745ES7KX3I3DQOGACNAOI black_chiney26

    I can certainly relate to this post. I am two weeks removed from being in a hard cast for 7 weeks due to surgery for a left Achilles tendon rupture. I’ve been walking around with a big ol’ walking boot ever since, sometimes using crutches. I’ve had friends and co-workers ask me why am I still using crutches, and how long will I have to use the boot? The remarks and questions had me  feeling as if I should be healing faster. So this weekend I foolishly tried going out and walking without the boot. That was a mistake for I aggravated the surgery site on my leg. So I learned the hard way that I need to be patient and let my leg heal properly, no matter what people think and say. Even though I miss running and exercising, in time I will be able to do so fully once again. Take time and be patient with your healing Lori. Thanks for this post, and feel better!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I have the same eagerness to be active. It just feels strange being so immobile–and also feels strange that I get tired to quickly when I *do* move around! Thanks for the well wishes. I hope you feel better soon as well!

  • Tinarose29

    Brilliant article, I’m glad that I am at a stage where I am accepting what each day brings, good or bad. Its been a hard journey but a worthy one and I’m still moving forward.
    Thank you Lori :D
    Big Hug

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome. That’s wonderful you’re at that stage Tina! Big hug back. =)

  • rajendra kumari

    hi ,
    I totally agree with this feeling that we have to be kind to ourselves also as buddha has said that of all the human beings in the world we ourselves need our love more than anybody else.So I too sometimes remain in my room enjoying my company and being happy …enjoying the moment.