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Acceptance Is Power March 26, 2020

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Life Balance, Mindfulness, People.

I read an interesting article yesterday in the Harvard Business Review about the “grief” we’re feeling as a result of CoVid-19 and its inherent uncertainty:

That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief 

The article is worth a read.  Here’s a brief excerpt:

You said we’re feeling more than one kind of grief?

Yes, we’re also feeling anticipatory grief. Anticipatory grief is that feeling we get about what the future holds when we’re uncertain. Usually it centers on death. We feel it when someone gets a dire diagnosis or when we have the normal thought that we’ll lose a parent someday. Anticipatory grief is also more broadly imagined futures. There is a storm coming. There’s something bad out there. With a virus, this kind of grief is so confusing for people. Our primitive mind knows something bad is happening, but you can’t see it. This breaks our sense of safety. We’re feeling that loss of safety. I don’t think we’ve collectively lost our sense of general safety like this. Individually or as smaller groups, people have felt this. But all together, this is new. We are grieving on a micro and a macro level.

What can individuals do to manage all this grief?

Understanding the stages of grief is a start. But whenever I talk about the stages of grief, I have to remind people that the stages aren’t linear and may not happen in this order. It’s not a map but it provides some scaffolding for this unknown world. There’s denial, which we say a lot of early on: This virus won’t affect us. There’s anger: You’re making me stay home and taking away my activities. There’s bargaining: Okay, if I social distance for two weeks everything will be better, right? There’s sadness: I don’t know when this will end. And finally there’s acceptance. This is happening; I have to figure out how to proceed.

Acceptance, as you might imagine, is where the power lies. We find control in acceptance. I can wash my hands. I can keep a safe distance. I can learn how to work virtually.

I can accept the what is.

Aah . . . that’s better!


1. Kate Crimmins - March 26, 2020

We had our first death in our county. It was someone with other underlying health issues (which for some reason makes me feel better) but it means the virus is hanging around here. We are in day 9 of lockdown with very limited travel. I know I’d feel better if we had more sunshine and some warmer weather. Maybe not but I keep telling myself that!

nrhatch - March 26, 2020

You’re probably right about the benefit of sunshine, Kate. I read another interesting study yesterday about the power of blue to calm anxiety. If you’re interested:


Water views are good at alleviating psychological distress. So keep an eye on your pond as it comes out of hibernation.

Kate Crimmins - March 26, 2020

Beaches have always had a soothing effect on me. I could feel the stress lifting as I started to smell the saltwater on the way to the NJ beaches.

nrhatch - March 26, 2020

In the meantime, here’s a dose of blue for you:


2. Ally Bean - March 26, 2020

I saw the headline for this article in the HBR but didn’t read it. Thanks for doing so. I’ve had more Anticipatory Grief in my life than I care to remember, but from that I do think I’ve internalized the stages of grief. I accept things more easily than I used to do, not denying their reality, just getting on with what I can control. Like commenting here. 😉

nrhatch - March 26, 2020

That reminds me of another “S” word that applies to you, your posts, and your comments, Ally ~> SENSIBLE! 😀

Ally Bean - March 26, 2020

Thanks! I try to be. You are, too, of course.

nrhatch - March 26, 2020

Thanks, Ally. I’m happiest when my inner pendulum sways gently to & fro without wild gyrations and excessive turbulence.

3. Jill Weatherholt - March 26, 2020

Speaking from my own experience, one thing I’ve discovered is that during difficult times is when my faith grows the most and something good comes out on the other side of all the fear. Thanks for sharing the article, Nancy.

nrhatch - March 26, 2020

I liked the quote that you shared with Linda:

“Both faith and fear will sail into your harbor, but only allow faith to drop anchor.” ~ unknown

Jill Weatherholt - March 26, 2020

I’m glad you liked it, Nancy. I started to post it here, but I did’t want to sound like an old rerun! 🙂

nrhatch - March 26, 2020

Gotcha! Like you, I prefer to hand-tailor comments (avoiding reruns) but just this morning I posted “identical” comments on 2 blogs. Call me lazy. 😛

Jill Weatherholt - March 26, 2020

Lol! I’m giving you a pass! 😉

4. Joanne Sisco - March 26, 2020

I loved the conversation between you and Ally. I just nodded my head repeatedly …
(1) focusing on what I can control – check,
(2) trying to keep the inner pendulum on an even keel – check.

nrhatch - March 26, 2020

Maintaining an even keel gets easier with practice . . . but I admit I might have “capsized” given the events you had to deal with during your recent trip to Portugal.


That’s why it’s safer for me to stay put. 😛

Joanne Sisco - March 26, 2020

No argument from me about how much that trip pushed me off balance. It took me 3 months to find my blogging voice again.

nrhatch - March 26, 2020

We’re glad you’re back . . . even if it means you have less time to paint. 😀

5. L. Marie - March 26, 2020

It’s good to put into words what’s happening with many of us. We’ve had so little time to fully process the changes. Understanding the stages of grief is indeed a good start.

nrhatch - March 26, 2020

And it helps to know that the process isn’t linear ~ and that we’re not all at the same point at the same time. Stay well!

6. anotherday2paradise - March 29, 2020

Your post reminded me of the Serenity Prayer, “God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change… Courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference.” Acceptance is a good place to be in. As our son often says, when a difficult situation arises, “It is what it is.”

nrhatch - March 29, 2020

Being able to accept the “what is” (no matter what “it” is) provides us with peace, calm, and serenity. And that = power!

Stay well!

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