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Life is Difficult

Joe Dunne

Joe Dunne

M. Scott Peck’s bestselling book, “The Road Less Traveled,” opens with this profound statement.  “Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult—once we truly understand and accept it—then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”

When I first read this book over 30 years ago, everything he presented was new to me. I had no clue or understanding of how to arrange my thinking to make life easier. That a thinking process allied with my personality would allow me to live a calmer more laidback life, a life of acceptance. What a concept! Yet as simple as that statement is, mastering acceptance has proved to be a bit more challenging. 

People, I have learned, are difficult! Situations of everyday living are difficult. Relationships are complicated and sometimes very difficult. Business, time, frustrations, etc., again prove Mr. Peck to be right—life is difficult. And always more difficult if I get in the way and try to fight against the logic of acceptance.

I get the concept now. Logically, I know it to be true. I have learned I will not always get my way. That people will do what people will do and I cannot control them, that I am not in charge of others. To bring acceptance into my daily life, I first had to understand those two points.

Understanding that I am not in charge of every situation, and that I do not have to be in control. Remembering that I am not god and that in reality, I am in control of very little. The key here for me is paying attention to me–my behavior, actions, agenda, and my adjustments—to reach the level of acceptance I need to make life easier.

What level, what planet, what spiritual plain did people like Mother Theresa and Gandhi come from? I do not know. Achieving those heights might be a stretch on my part, but the model of not judging others, coupled with the compassion, empathy, and the ability to forgive while serving others, all seem to be the foundation and the pathway to acceptance.

In peace, love and laughter,



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