I have always been confused about two seemingly contradictory self-help mantras: acceptance and change.
Surely accepting something means it won’t need to be changed? And if you want to change them why, or how can you accept them? How do you work out whether to change something or accept it anyway?
Apparently, it all comes down to whether you have control of a situation or not.
Lisa’s partner smokes. He smoked before they met and Lisa has always had a problem with it. Lisa has tried talking to her partner, shouting at him, leaving leaflets and hiding his cigarettes. Nothing has worked. Lisa can not control the actions of her partner, so in this situation acceptance is the best course of action.
Paul is overweight. He eats when he is stressed and has a massive weakness for cheesecake, sometimes eating two a day. Paul can choose to accept his weight, or change it.
The Serenity Prayer, perhaps minus the God part for the non religious, exemplifies this perfectly:
‘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.”
This can be applied to psoriasis, and other chronic health conditions. It is not possible to change a diagnosis of psoriasis, but you can find the courage to introduce lifestyle changes that help to make psoriasis a little better.
I accept that I have psoriasis, but that will not stop me trying to reduce its symptoms.
Image by Dennis Barnes from flickr available here.