Have you ever had to accept something difficult? Like something that brought you to understand that life doesn’t always go as you planned. This has happened to me tons of times, but one of them stands out the most. I was coming home from a basketball game when my life was suddenly altered forever.
I remember how tired I was after my basketball game. I was coughing incredibly hard and trying to keep my eyes open. When my mom, my dad, and I arrived at home, it occurred to me that my parents appeared tenser than they usually did. Honestly, I didn’t care. They were usually very cautious around me and if they were scared about something it probably didn’t concern me. I was wrong.
Soon after we arrived, my mom and dad took me outside to speak to me. I was starting to get a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. For a moment my father hesitated looking like he might have a stroke, but soon my mother cut in. She started by explaining what families are all about. Love, compassion, respect, and more love is what she said. After she was finished there was a slight pause for about two seconds. Though I didn’t know it yet, those two seconds decided the fate of the rest of my life. My parents decided to get a divorce.
I exploded in my head. My mind was an outburst of hate, fury, confusion, and sorrow. I absolutely couldn’t believe it. My loving parents, who adore my sister and I and couldn’t stand hurting us in anyway, we’re splitting anyway. It was so hard to believe, that I nearly fell of my chair in sorrow and disbelief. All the memories, all the family moments had been for nothing. That was the worst part of the day.
After I was finished taking in all the disbelief, the water works came. I cried and cried like there was no tomorrow. After a while though, I settled down, even though inside I was still exploding. My parents calmly explained the sleeping arrangements to me; I would stay at my mom’s house most of the time, but every other weekend, I would go to my dad’s new house.
Weeks of sorrow passed and I eventually realized that allowing my parents’ divorce to affect my own well being was wrong. I got out a pen and paper and wrote out all the good things that came out of the divorce. I came up with…two rooms, more presents at Christmas, happier parents and all together, a wiser me. The horrible divorce turned out to be much less painful than I previously thought.
Acceptance is a hard thing to do, especially if the thing you have to accept proves horribly painful. But if done so, acceptance can make life much easier. I certainly realized this.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.