Byron Katie once said, “When you argue with reality, you lose 100% of the time.” This means that no matter how wrong we think reality is, reality always wins that argument. Because reality is reality. And a lot of our suffering can be reduced by simply no longer arguing with reality and learning how to accept it for what it is.
In today’s post, I want to offer you a quick checklist you can use to see if your suffering is coming from an argument with reality or not. If it is, I encourage you to accept reality instead of arguing with it. Until you accept reality for what it is, you have no power to affect it in any meaningful way.
1. Do you think the past is wrong?
If you think something in the past should not have happened the way it did, you are arguing with reality. Everything in the past is factual and out of your control. So if it has happened, there is no point in arguing with it.
Acceptance doesn’t mean approval, agreement, or appreciation. It simply means that you no longer hold on to the idea that reality should have been different than it is. Once you accept the past, you can then choose how to think and feel about it.
2. Do you think another person’s thoughts or feelings are wrong?
As I mentioned above, disagreement is not the antonym of acceptance. Both can exist at the same time. But there is a difference between disagreeing with a person and their opinion, and disagreeing with reality or the universe by saying that this person shouldn’t have those opinions, to begin with.
Other people’s thoughts and feelings are out of your control and therefore fall into the “reality is what reality is” category.
3. Are you cheating on your partner with their potential?
It’s not uncommon for girlfriends to “cheat” on their partners with their partners’ potential. This means that you are constantly having an affair in your mind with who your partner “could be” if they just changed this or that. It’s like you’re in love with the idea of someone you want your partner to be rather than accepting them and seeing them the way they are.
People can change, yes. But your partner’s change is out of your control. And therefore, I always recommend accepting and seeing your partner as they are today. Because any change they decide to make is completely up to them.
4. Do you think another person is acting wrong?
This might be the trickiest one along with viewing other people’s opinions and feelings as wrong. Because we are taught from a very young age that certain things are right and certain things are wrong. So we are used to judging the world and other people in this way.
But the key here is to find an acceptance of the fact that the world is not and will never be 100% right or good. Bad things are supposed to happen because they do. People are supposed to do bad things because they do.
If you think everything should be 100% right, good, and wonderful, you are arguing with the truth and the reality of the world we live in.
5. Do you think your own feelings are wrong?
Have you ever been in a situation where you think you’re having the wrong thoughts or feelings? My guess is yes because a lot of grumpy girlfriends struggle with emotions they don’t think are reasonable or “correct.”
If you are arguing with your feelings in the present moment, you are arguing with reality. The feelings are there. Period. Once you have accepted them and not made them wrong you get power back over them and you can work on changing them in the future.
When you argue with reality, you lose 100% of the time. And when you accept reality for what it is you get your power back to impact it in a meaningful way.
Accepting that bad things happen in the world doesn’t mean we like it. But we have to accept it in order to do something about it. We can affect a situation we are arguing with. And the same is true in your relationship.
Once you stop arguing with the reality of what is true in your relationship, you will see it more clearly and you will be able to decide what to do next. Just spinning in a circle and arguing with something your partner did in the past or a trait that your partner has… it’s a complete waste of your time.
Reality is never wrong.
You can dislike it, but that is a choice that you make and the only person who feels that dislike is you. Reality couldn’t care less what you think of it. It just is what it is. And your power 100% lies in your ability to choose your interpretation, opinion, and response to reality being what it is.