- Everything changes and ends.
- Things do not always go according to plan.
- Life is not always fair.
- Pain is part of life.
- People are not loving and loyal all the time.
I recently completed this book by David Richo called 5 Things You Can’t Change: and the Happiness we find in Embracing Them. The premise of this book is that when we transform thinking about these 5 givens, or irrefutable conditions of life, to gifts we can meet the lessons that each is trying to teach with grace.
The concept he introduced to aid us in this journey is the unconditional yes. The unconditional yes “is not a surrender to the status quo but a courageous one – an alignment to reality,” it’s facing what comes our way with mindfulness.
I found this concept to be incredibly powerful because it’s asking us to take the perspective of yes, and – yes this is a given of life and I am willing to meet it, willing to walk the path it is asking of me.
A tool that he mentions we can use as we are navigating through each given is the two-handed practice. Imagine on one hand you hold the predicament you have, and in the other hand, you hold the power to work through it. It isn’t either, or – either your predicament engulfs you, or you are strong enough to live life the way you intend. It’s both, and. You acknowledge where you are today, and know you will find your way through it.
Throughout the book, Richo mentions the concepts of psychological work and spiritual work. He talks about how one without the other is incomplete. When we say yes to doing the psychological work behind each of these givens, we say yes to “building a healthier ego and way of functioning in the world.” When we say yes to the spiritual work, we learn to expand what we have learned to include the whole word.
After reading this book, I found myself with both practical skills and perspectives I can adopt as I am navigating my own life, and a deeper understanding of the necessity behind both: psychological tools and spiritual work.