There is no “right” way to feel.

A couple weeks back, my grandfather passed away. And while there was lots of love, and sadness, theĀ feelings and reactions of family and friends were varied.

Some were balling while others remained outwardly unfazed.

I used to judge people for either over- or under- reacting to a situation.

There was a range of acceptable emotional responses, anything that fell outside of that range was inappropriate.

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I used to think that losing a match or failing a test required a certain emotional and physical reaction.

I would throw my headgear or hang my head.

When I didn’t feel upset after one of these instances, I felt guilty, or worse, like there was something wrong with me.

One of my coaches and close friend once told me, “There is no right way to feel, Otterbox. However you feel, is right”

The next time you feel embarrassed for crying at a movie, or not crying a funeral, consider that people respond differently to situations.

There is no universally “right” emotional response to a situation.

Endure or Change?

Somethings we cannot change.

This is OK.

Make peace with these things.

The ability to endure difficulties is a skill, but can be a curse.

Sometimes we need to face unpleasant situations, other times we need to remove ourselves from the situation.

Too high of a threshold for pain means that we will never act to change the status quo.

We will remained trapped in a life of barely tolerable unpleasantness.

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Develop the ability to distinguish which discomforts must be endured and which should be changed.

Reinhold Niebuhr captured the importance of this distinction in the serenity prayer:

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”