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Monday, March 30 (Day 5) =>

I realized today that a key to my stress is that I’ve never fully accepted the permanence of my husband’s struggles. It’s somehow stuck in my head that because he’s not where he was, then he’s “OK” and our life should work like everyone else’s. But that’s not so. If I would accept that truth instead of fighting it or denying it, I would make different choices and find my peace back. Instead, my decisions are rooted in a make-believe world of how I THINK things should be or how I WISH things could be.

Every family faces its own unique challenges. Our family’s struggles are no worse than others. They’re just different. And every family must adapt to its challenges in its own unique way. Those adaptations may look strange to the outside, but they make perfect sense for those living that reality every day. Maybe we worry too much about what others think. Maybe we talk ourselves out of what we know in our hearts we need to do. Maybe we waste a whole lot of energy trying to fit into the world’s way instead of caring for ourselves the way our hearts know we need.

If I’m going to “own my own truth” and “take responsibility for how I live my life today,” I need to accept the fact that war has shaped my family—permanently. That doesn’t have to be judged in my mind as “good” or “bad”—it just IS. That’s simply our journey—just as others’ journeys may include cancer or chronic pain or grief.

I’m starting to see that those who live from a place of acceptance rather than resistance, and those who make decisions based on reality rather than fantasy, are those that find their path to peace.

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