One of my first introductions into personal development was through hearing Hal Elrod's story of nearly dying in a car crash. Fortunately he recovered from the accident and then proceeded to write a best-selling book, The Miracle Morning.
Though I enjoyed his book, it was what I learned from his story and how he approached obstacles that sticks with me today. Following his crash he had a motto that he returned to consistently, "can't change it."
Sure, he could rage about the other driver, the fact that he may not walk again, or that he didn't want this to happen...but that wasn't going to change anything.
Little did I know that Hal's motto of "can't change it," was actually my introduction into stoicism.
2,000 years earlier Epictetus wrote:
“We suffer not from the events in our lives but from our judgement about them.”
Are you open to the possibility that at least some of your suffering is a result of your judgement about things that happen? I am.
It reminds me of an equation from Kristin Neff:
Suffering = Pain x Resistance
Let's not amplify our suffering by resisting what is.
Accept what is and use it to alchemize what comes next. The Miracle Morning and all the lives it has changed was born out of a near-death accident.
As another stoic, Marcus Aurelius wrote in his journal thousands of years ago:
“That which impeded action thus becomes profitable to action, and that which blocked the road allows me to advance along the road.”
Not only need we not suffer in the "bad" that happens, but we can use it to create positive change to pave a hopeful road, for ourselves and others.