My Biggest Life Lesson in Accepting ‘What Is’

One night in April Ryan and I were taking a walk pretty late and saw a deer get hit by a car not more than 20 feet from us. I have never actually witnessed something like that and it was upsetting to say the least.

As she limped off to the side of the road, clearly very badly injured, I felt this overwhelming sense of powerlessness; I felt so terrible thinking she was suffering and I couldn’t do anything about it. I wanted to go comfort her. (Of course I was doing major projecting onto her as we are wont to do with animals.)

But there really was nothing I could do and I had to accept that. I had to accept that was her journey. I had to accept we sometimes, often times actually,  can’t do anything about another’s suffering.

We called the police in case there is something they do to handle it but I don’t know what ever happened.

I felt this was a significant event for me, it was serving as a powerful reminder I would need, an opportunity to more deeply contemplate, and embrace, wisdom meant to improve our lives and emotional health.

And I was right about that. The very next day my mom went into the hospital. Her cancer had been progressing and she was having certain symptoms that clearly needed medical attention.

The last year of her life was one of great suffering between the cancer itself, and the side effects of various treatments, and it seems I am feeling the pain of witnessing that more deeply now, five months after her passing, than I ever had.

She went into the hospital during the height of Covid, so I was not able to visit her and she spent the last month of her life (save one day she came home and then ended up being readmitted the next day because she was still clearly very ill) alone in that hospital. It was devastating for me, especially after she tested positive for the virus—I knew it was the beginning of the end. She was never coming home. In the world outside the hospital, she was already gone.

I felt powerless and helpless. After taking such an active role in her care, and being by her side for pretty much everything, I had no choice but to let her go that last leg alone.

It was just how it had to be. I couldn’t do anything to ease her suffering. I could no longer try and take control of her health or persuade her to do things I thought she should be doing. It was all over, the end was in clear sight– no more treatments, no more hope.

The day before she died, the nurse arranged a video call with her; she was coherent and I was able to have a conversation with her. She asked if I missed having her at the house and I told her I missed having her tell me about the ridiculousness of the characters on 90 Day Fiance. At that point, I hadn’t been told she had so little time, but I just knew. I think she knew too but was trying to keep a brave front, telling me she was going to come home.

I am grateful I was able to visit her and say goodbye  (originally the doctor said only one person could come and I told my sister she could go.)That I couldn’t actually be there the moment she passed was hard. It was surreal leaving that room knowing with certainty that would be the last time I saw her, that she would die very soon.

I believe everything happens as it should; if something was supposed to happen another way, it would have; nothing goes ‘wrong.’ This was obviously how the journey was supposed to go for both of us. I wasn’t meant to be involved in that aspect. I wasn’t meant to be sitting by her side in the hospital every day. I wasn’t meant to be there when she made that transition.

Having that trust and faith things turn out exactly the way they are meant to–even if we don’t like the outcome, or can’t possibly see the rhyme and reason–can help you get through even the most horrible of experiences, the things that seem absolutely senseless. 

We don’t have to accept these ideas with our mind–it never really will–but only in our heart. This is where we connect with all we know to be true. This is where we connect, and draw strength from, that part of us completely untouched by the troubles of our life, that is perfectly whole no matter how broken we feel, that sees things as they really are.

Being able to accept ‘what is’ no matter how unacceptable it appears to be is one of the most important life lessons we must be willing to learn–to resist it is to our detriment since there will always be things happening we won’t like, both big and small. To constantly be in ‘push back’ mode against situations we may not be able to do anything about is a huge waste of energy and no way to live. 

Resisting ‘what is’ adds an extra layer of suffering to experiences that are already incredibly painful for all but the most enlightened beings.

True peace will only come from changing our perspectives and beliefs, the only thing over which we have any real control.

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10 thoughts on “My Biggest Life Lesson in Accepting ‘What Is’

  1. Dear Kelli this brought me tears, maybe because i also lost my Mom to leucemia, maybe because I feel your pain of not being able to be with her in her last moments, i feel the powerlessness you talk about and it’s so painful. Not resisting is so liberating and releaves us of so much heavy load. Thanks for remind us of that.
    My heart goes out to you ❤️

    1. Hi Bita’
      Thank you so much for your comment. There is great freedom in realizing our circumstances don’t have to dictate our feelings. We can recognize certain experiences will almost certainly cause pain but we don’t have to drown in it, we don’t have to intensify it with the resistance to the pain, with that insistence it shouldn’t be happening.

  2. First, I am so sorry for your loss and pray that you and your family find peace and comfort.
    I hope you know that in sharing your pain and heartache with the world, you’re not only helping people in navigating through their own but you’re also a living legacy of your Mom’s love and kindness.
    Thank you, Kelli.
    Sending all the love and light to you and your family.

    1. Hi Liz
      Thank you so much for your kind words and such a great insight. You are right…I hope sharing my experience helps others. Intellectually we understand others experience similar pain and struggles but on an other level we can feel alone and assume others aren’t. Hearing it gives that nice reminder.

  3. Hi Kelli,

    It’s amazing how coming across one of your posts was just something that I needed to read at this time.

    I’m a kind of knight in shining armour type of person. I’ll help and help and help…it’s the control freak side of me.

    But this post made me realise that we all have our own journeys. I need to let go in many instances and just have life happen…instead of riding that horse with my shiny shield trying to help others.

    Again, I realise that a lot of my knight in shining armour thing is my need to control, make myself feel better that I’ve helped someone. But that’s not good for me or others.

    I dip in and out of your blog, but today dipped in and it really helped.

    1. Hi Jo
      Thanks so much for your comment and sharing your experiences as always. I can tell you are very self-aware and that awareness is our most powerful ‘tool’ for change and energetic transformation. That need to help others comes from a good place but how we apply it is often detrimental in so many ways. Feeling responsible for other’s well being can be hard to deal with when we see how we ultimately can’t control any of it. Trying to help people who may not want to be helped is frustrating. The idea that someone may need to experience this ‘bad’ thing and it isn’t supposed to be fixed, that it may serve them in some way if they let it, can help since we no longer view the situation as something that must be ‘fixed’ or something is going wrong. Whether or not others choose to embrace these sorts of perspectives or actually change their lives is another thing we can’t control either so the ability to make peace with another’s path and journey and how they conduct themselves is even more important.

  4. Hi Kelli,

    Thank you very much, your writings are very informative and inspiring and I have been gaining immense strength from them since discovering you last week.

    You are correct, it is much healthier to accept the situation even if we do not understand or agree, since if we can’t change it there is no point to fighting against it.

    With my father may he rest in peace, experienced very similar to you, was not with him at the end, yet despite how much that pains me, that is the way it had to be whether or not I understand or agree.

    Feeling very blessed to have found you and your inspirational advice that is strengthening.

    You should have comfort and all good things always.

    1. Hi D
      Thanks so much for your comment and your kind words. I am so glad my content has been such a helpful resource for you and I hope you continue to enjoy it. Trusting things turn out as they should has helped me in so many situations since our resistance and judgment is usually the biggest source of our suffering, not the actual feelings triggered by the experience. It isn’t always easy and when I have the moments I am not in that space and feeling that extra layer of pain, I just let it run its course.

      1. Hi Kelli,

        It’s been almost two months, though please be sure that I still deeply value you and your insightful and inspiring writings.

        Found you initially through an internet search about LOA, the exact post was 9/14/2015L. Read a number of others from that same month, I think it was one of those where I learned from you the concept of “being divorced from the outcome.” which is almost the same as trusting (without any doubting or fearing) that what we would like to manifest will truly become our reality.

        Have pondered much about that concept and its value to this process of life improvement.

        As you may have already surmised, as money/finances is one area that I seek large improvement in, since presently I can’t pay you for coaching or any other for-pay options, I don’t want to take a lot of your time.

        In that same internet search mentioned above another result was from a male in Australia, but even though I’m male I felt that your content is much higher level and connected to it much more.

        Thank you again for all the good you share, your new picture is truly fitting, you appear completely content, at peace, and at ease.

        Hope to continue to visit here and read more, you should always have the best of everything!

        1. Hi D
          Thank you so much for your kind comment and I am glad my work has been such a helpful resource for you. Inner work is really important to making lasting changes in our financial situation and it can lead us to some really uncomfortable places but it allows us to explore really deep things that if addressed, can lead to drastic improvement in our overall life experience since ‘money’ isnt the actual problem. We usually have broader issues that show up in our finances, like worthiness and deserving, fears of various kinds. Know that is a resource is out of reach for any reason, such as it being unaffordable, it means it’s not the right resource in the moment. If it was, it would be totally accessible. So don’t feel like you are missing out on something crucial because you don’t have the money.

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