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I was trying to influence a situation outside my control by staying awake. I could not prevent my wife’s heart from suddenly stopping in the night. That was outside my control, and laying awake trying to regulate something I couldn’t wasn’t doing my wife or myself any good.

My wife’s newly discovered heart condition was what it was. That was the reality of the situation. Reality does not need, nor does it want our approval. It simply is what it is, and no amount of desire to change it will have any effect.

We make ourselves miserable when we struggle against reality. Saying, “It shouldn’t be like this,” doesn’t change the fact that this is how it is. Reality does not need, nor does it want our consent. Struggling against reality is how we misinterpret situations and produce our own suffering. Rather than judging reality, we need to learn to accept it. Acceptance does not mean we need to like or agree with it, but we do need to recognize that this is the way the world is.

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