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The Five Things We Cannot Change

admin Satori Nation Sunday, June 2nd 2013.

Why is it that despite our best efforts, many of us remain fundamentally unhappy and unfulfilled in our lives? In this provocative and inspiring book, David Richo distills thirty years of experience as a therapist to explain the underlying roots of unhappiness—and the surprising secret to finding freedom and fulfillment. 

There are certain facts of life that we cannot change - the unavoidable "givens" of human existence:

1. Everything changes - nothing last forever. 
Everything ends, every beginning is the start of an end. Relationships end, people die. Seasons turn, things change. Get used to it. Learn to let go gracefully, change and grow yourself. 

2. Things do not always go according to plan 
The best laid plans often go astray. No plan survives contact with reality. Adapt, improvise, flex, adjust your sails, innovate. Things turn out best for those who make the best of how things turn out. Plans are useless but planning is invaluable. 

3. Life is not always fair 
Some serious wrongs cry out to be righted but many more are best dealt with by moving on and not getting ensnared in a negative energy cycle. 

4. Pain is part of life 
There is a cost to everything and suffering may be part of that cost. Pain is not necessarily punishment and pleasure is not necessarily a reward. Pain can be a source of tremendous personal growth. But there is no need to seek out pain to speed your growth. Life will send you your proper measure! 

5. People are not loving and loyal all the time 
We are social, gregarious creatures. We depend on each other. But people are human and inevitably let us down. Our work as healthy adults is to feel this fear of betrayal and abandonment and deal with it, embrace it, learn from it, grow beyond it, NOT run from the fear. Running only strengthens fear. 


F--Fear: I am afraid I cannot survive if I am not loved, and this is how I am a source of suffering to myself. 

A--Attachment: I am attached to a very specific version of how things should be, of what life owes me, and this is how I am a source of suffering to myself. 

C--Control: I feel the need to control others' reactions to me and interactions with me, and this is how I am a source of suffering to myself. 

E--Entitlement: I believe I am entitled to love and loyalty from everyone, and this is how I am a source of suffering to myself. 

Solution: Acknowledging and accepting, moving beyond what you can't change to the inner work of what you can change: Yourself.

Richo shows us that by dropping our deep-seated resistance to these givens, we can find liberation and discover the true richness that life has to offer. Blending Western psychology and Eastern spirituality, including practical exercises, Richo shows us how to open up to our lives - including to what is frightening, painful, or disappointing - and discover our greatest gifts. 


Shambhala Publications Inc.