Sometimes it seems hard to see things clearly. Is the answer unclear? Or are you stuck only viewing the situation from one mind; rational or emotional?

Recently a friend of mine, we’ll call her Mary, came to me to not only as a friend but for advise on how to move forward. Earlier in the year, she had gone through what she thought was a negative life-changing experience. She had every intention of it ruining her life. But luckily for me, she invited me in, + I opened her eyes to her changed world.

Here’s the secret about facing devastating news, you don’t forgive it, you accept it.

Forgiveness is too much of a powerful emotion when bad news is fresh, + will only cause an intangible wall of emotions. If forgiveness isn’t done out of a place of desire, it’s simply a word. In order to move on + grow from an experience, you need to first accept it.

Accept that it sucks. Accept that you’re now going to live with this. Accept that you have the power to change. Accept that you have experienced something you never imagined. Accept that you’re going to improve as a result.

To accept means to “believe or come to recognize as valid or correct.”

To forgive means to “stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake.”

Simply forgiving before accepting will cause you to just stop the feelings of hurt, not to understand why you feel them + how they’re going to affect you. Of course facing the monster is scary, but feeding it is scarier.

When in a time of distress, high-intensity emotion, or looking through a blurred lense, the best thing to do is to separate the emotional mind from the rational. I shared this with a loved one the other night (we’ll call Sammy) + changed their perspective on life build-ups.

Say you have just found out that you had received a failing grade. Your emotional mind thinks:

  • I ruined my chances
  • I’m never going to recover
  • I’m so dumb
  • This is the worst thing that could’ve happened to me

BUT, rationally we all know that’s not true + no, you’re not a drama queen for thinking that, you’re human.

The rational mind says:

  • It’s just a grade
  • I tried my best
  • I can retake it

Unfortunately, in a time of hardship it’s not so easy to separate the two from each other, but after the fact, the fog becomes a little clearer.

With all this being said + sharing all this with Mary + a loved one, I don’t mean to remiss their situations or feelings. I’m sure the events Mary went through are heartbreaking + that Sammy’s stress was up to her ears.

Nevertheless, learning to accept a situation + hear your rational mind is just a matter of facing the truth…the facts. The truth can be hurtful but it can also set you free + lead you to forgive + grow.

What have you forgiven that you still haven’t accepted?


Originally published at on March 2, 2016.

Originally published at