Today I found an article I'd printed out quite some time ago from dbtselfhelp.com. This is a great website, by the way, for anyone having trouble coping with and/or regulating their emotions. The article talked about how people deal with painful problems in life and proposed that there are four possible responses. The four responses to painful problems include:
1. Solve the problem -- if it is something over which you have control
2. Stay miserable -- by refusing to accept the situation for what it is and internally willing it to be different
3. Accept it -- accept reality for what it is and accept that life can be worth living even with painful events in it
4. Change how you feel about it -- I think this goes along with #3. First you accept a situation and then you work on changing how you feel about it.
The article points out that accepting a situation does not mean that you agree with it or that you like it. Accepting it also does not mean that you don't work to change it. Rather, a person must accept reality for what it is before he or she can change it. After all, if you deny something exists how can you change it?