The fifth – and last stage of the Kubler-Ross grief process is acceptance. In researching and preparing for this blog, I had one nagging question in my head: how the heck do we get there? How does someone get to a point where they accept that they must seek the protection of a US Bankruptcy Court from their creditors? The answer is simply not easy and the only way I think I could describe it to you is to share my own journey through grief…and how I got to acceptance.
The “event” in my life will be undefined. There are those who may know me – or know of me – and will know or assume they know what I am discussing. What my “event” was is not important for the purposes of discussing acceptance as the last stage in the grief process. Besides, there are so many events in our lives – and certainly in mine – that have lead me through the five stages that have been the topic of Storm Preparation over the last few weeks. With that said, think what you will about how and why I found myself in a difficult period in my life.
When I was going through a particularly difficult time in my life, I was talking to a (very former) friend about my difficulties. He simply told me “it is what it is.” At the time I heard those words, it was so very unhelpful. I may have even told him that.
In retrospect, now that that period in my life is far in the past, I can examine it and say “it was what it was.” It wasn’t fun. It wasn’t easy. But had I not experienced it, along with all of the blessings, the pains and the costs that went with it, I am not so sure you’d be reading this very blog because I’m not so sure I’d be writing it today. It was not a life-ending event, but it was life altering. The event, or the “happening” did not define me, but it sure did put me on the path I find myself on today. And for me, it’s not a path I have any regrets of being on.
I wish I could say with any real clarity that I knew how I got to this place. I went from “what the hell was I thinking?” to “I wish I had been thinking at the time.” I went from “why didn’t I know better?” to “wow, I was blind.” I went from “how did I let things get so out of control and ridiculous?” to “I will never let something like this happen again.” Time has marched on. It was what it was.
That’s really all I can say about acceptance as it relates to facing bankruptcy. I almost feel like I did not say anything. But then again (after proofing it for the upteenth time), perhaps I did. I am not sure any of my clients actually reach acceptance while I am still actively involved in their bankruptcy case. But I think they do. I hope they do.
Perhaps a way of looking at acceptance – or perhaps even getting there – is to look towards the future. It’s possible, if not very probable, that you will move well beyond the financial problems that have led you to this blog. No, it might not be on the same road you first contemplated or perhaps hoped for. You never know: you might find yourself on a better road, with friendlier neighbors and a brighter future. I know I did, and it’s because of that that now I can share my “acceptance” with you.
Storm Preparation is a weekly series appearing on Wednesdays and offers tips and information to people who think they may need bankruptcy protection in the future. Questions, comments or suggestions can be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Storm Preparation: The Stages
- Storm Preparation: Stage Two, Anger
- Storm Preparation: Letting Go and Moving On
- Storm Preparation: Bargaining
- Storm Preparation: Stop Using Credit