Accepting harsh truths can lead to a fulfilling life

Anolene Thangavelu Pillay is a Psychology Advisor. | Supplied

Anolene Thangavelu Pillay is a Psychology Advisor. | Supplied

Published Feb 19, 2024



Why do people believe that when someone says, ‘face the facts’ they will be confronted with truths they do not want to hear? Maybe it’s because of a cliché; ‘the truth hurts’.

On second thought life challenges are less terrifying when we know there are solutions. It’s easier to handle harsh truths when we know there is a path leading us to greater heights.

Could accepting the harsh realities of life be the key to living a fulfilling existence? These insights look at the harsh realities faced today and how we can use research to adjust our views to understand and accept certain harsh truths about life.

Many influential thinkers, including Stoicism, believed that we live better lives when we are aware of death, and science agrees too. Recent scientific findings indicate this awareness can enhance physical well-being and guide us to structure our goals in a more meaningful way.

Death brings life into sharper focus. As we approach death with acceptance, we can reflect on our lives with no regrets, knowing we have made the most of our time on earth.

Eliminate the habit of wasting time on overthinking the past or obsessing over future events. By entertaining these thoughts, we are depriving ourselves of the only thing we can control, the present.

If you search for happiness outside of yourself, you embark on a fruitless quest. Happiness begins within you from self-love. Your life story is written and created by you alone. Your words matter more than your thoughts. Words can have the power to hurt and oppress but they can also be a source of liberation and inspiration.

The universal truth of life is that not everyone will like you. At times, it can be tough to please everyone and meet unrealistic standards. Let go of perfectionism. Some may agree that tolerance and sympathies have their limits.

Instead of dwelling on criticism, show appreciation to the individuals who support you for who you are. Your self-worth comes from within. Believe in and validate yourself. Realise that expectations from others can hurt you as they often breed disappointment. Instead of clinging to expectations, develop more realistic expectations.

Life does not promise predictability. Recognise that any failure in our lives can be a stepping stone towards success. We all make mistakes, but are we quick to take the necessary steps to learn what should be done differently in the future? Or are our comforts keeping us stuck? Change is a certainty today.

A difficult concept to digest as change can be both terrifying and exciting. It becomes challenging to let go of what’s familiar and embrace what’s unfamiliar. Focus on the positive aspects that come with change. Fear is eliminated and new possibilities are made accessible taking you on a journey of self-discovery.

Unexpected twists that feel unjust are sometimes a part of life. It is possible to lose a loved one. Frustration is a natural reaction to a painful and traumatic experience. Sharing your feelings openly is a way to process them and heal as you gradually come to terms with your loss and find new meaning in life.

Death brings a feeling of incompleteness to our lives, making it even more difficult to accept. Accepting that life is unfair does not imply giving up or being cynical. Your resilience is defined the moment you understand and rationalise why this happens.

Taking control of our inner world means external forces can do less harm to us. By allowing yourself to play the ‘what if?’ game – to speculate about additional problems that a specific problem could cause – worries multiply, making the next one seem worse.

If you must play the ‘what if?’ game, play it to win. Focus on solutions, not problems. Allow your mind to be the source of reason. Direct your time and energy towards constructive responses, striving for a more equitable world. Though bitter, our experiences with pain and suffering add depth to our existence.

Let these insights ignite the spark of motivation you need to maximise your time on this planet. To understand the beauty of our lives, we must sometimes go through the storms.

In doing so, never let yourself believe that you are powerless. Be empowered in your ability to influence your attitude, choices and efforts. Prioritise achieving a strong mind as your key goal. It is the only thing that cannot be taken away from you.

Your mindset of unbreakable strength has a significant impact on your perception and interaction with the world.

Life is not about changing the world to meet our expectations, it is about adjusting to it as it is.

At this time, making others feel safe is considered one of the kindest acts of humanity – Let people know they are not alone.

Anolene Thangavelu Pillay is a Psychology Advisor.

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