Thursday, June 3, 2010

Coffee with Virginia Satir

Taped to my mirror is a quote from Virginia Satir,the renowned family therapist, "life is not the way it's supposed to be. It is the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference."

So much of my suffering and anxiety comes from rebelling against life the way it is. I know I am in trouble when my mind starts saying "that's unfair," "i don't want it to be this way; I dread this." I am training my mind to respond: "it is what it is." From this vantage point, I can see what I need to do to either accept it or change circumstances. Mostly this allows me to stop holding on with all my strength to the view of something the way I want it, and instead, to see it as it is.
This is a work in progress.

Radical acceptance, that deep acceptance of what is in the moment, does not imply that I must like what is happening. I am present with whatever emotions, thoughts, reactions come from seeing life in it's nakedness. This is not a passive approach to living. Actually it calls for mindful living, moment by moment.


  1. Marie,

    I love the quote, and couldn't agree more fully that living mindfully, and practicing acceptance is anything but passive. On the contrary, this is a full-on, eyes-open, direct engagement with life. I have so much admiration and respect for you, and I'm inspired by the blog posts, and tweets (even if I mostly lurk.)

  2. thanks, Pete. It is a "full-on, eyes-open, direct engagement." Sometimes I am able to really adopt this stance, sometimes not. And when I don't, I don't. It just just is...thanks for reading.