Such a little word, but one which is so important for us to understand, no matter what our situation or what has happened to us. It is making peace with our past, in what we have done or not done, and making a choice to change the way we live.

It might be accepting that we are older and can’t use our bodies or minds as we once did. It might be a new phase of sitting and accepting nursing care when there has been a fierce independence of a life once lived.

It might be ill health and accepting the physical limitations our bodies have afforded us. We don’t ‘spark on all four’ anymore. Full health may never return.

For young mums it is accepting the limited choices in lifestyle options because of tiredness and lack of freedom to just walk out the door! We can feel trapped. Yes, I do remember that and fought it for a bit, discovering I needed to accept that particular stage in life, and that it doesn’t last forever.

For a lot of us it is accepting the terrible loss of someone we have deeply loved. (This doesn’t come straight away) Instead we have a new normal, and every aspect of our lives will be different.

I have learned that with grieving that we must come to a place of acceptance, and we cannot fight against our loss or constantly yearn for a life once lived. We cannot change the circumstances or bring our loved ones back no matter how hard we wish it. Instead we must discover a peace with acceptance so we don’t get ‘stuck’ in our loss.

Accepting a loss of a relationship we thought was secure and knowing it maybe never be the same again helps us to not worry or hold on too long, always hoping, but nothing changing, where we may need to let go. We try with all our might to control situations and people but that is not our job! We are responsible for only our life. But it is important how we treat those around us. Whether we encourage and inspire someone every day, or look at life in a negative way and think about all the hurt and pain that we have been through.

So dear reader, whatever you face, ponder the AA serenity prayer. It helps me!

“God grant me the serenity, to accept the things I cannot change,

the courage to change the things I can,

and the wisdom to know the difference.”