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If you can't do what you have to

translated by Luciana Soares Lopes -

... at least do what you can!

This sentence summarizes my belief about how we must live, especially, love!
I believe that we must accept more rather than condemn or punish ourselves for our mistakes. I learned, with practice, that acceptance is, most of the times, more efficient and more transforming than pitiless self-criticism that reinforces our difficulties.
So, to prove my perception, after having already used it sometimes for myself, I decided to "apply" it to a friend. Sometime ago, she complained to me about the fact of not being able to get out of a relationship that was doing badly to her, stealing her concentration and mainly her self-esteem.
Her justification was always about a complaint: in spite of knowing that it was more than time to get rid of that relationship that brought nothing positive to her life, she couldn't say the so necessary "it's enough!". Every time she had an opportunity to see again the person with who she was relating to, she ended up giving in to the feeling of accepting the invitation.
Soon after, she felt guilty, bad with herself, unable to take control of her own history and give a new direction to such relationship. She caught herself repeating again the same promises, the same justifications, the same attempts to fix what she knew, for the repetition of the attitudes, that that was not possible from the part of the other person to change, as she would like to.
Thus, she turned to me, sharing her feeling of deception about herself and her sensation that, however much she tried, she wasn't able to change the other person. I decided to accept her. And I suggest, now, you to accept yourself!
Stop punishing yourself when you can't do what you must. However much you already knew what must be done to get what you want, maybe you're not yet mature enough to make it. So, relax. Don't give up, only relax. Be aware that you know what must be done and that, day after day, you'll repeat kindly to yourself what must be done, but for the moment, also day after day, you'll be committed to do what you can!
How many times did we already give up doing what we should because we realized we wouldn't be able to do it? Wrong!!! The level of requirements to us cannot be bigger than our maturity. On the contrary, it's our daily objective of getting mature that transforms the feeling of changing in an actual change.
Then, I repeat: If you can't do what you must, you must, at least, do what you can! And thus, without giving up, the day will come - faster that you can imagine - that you'll do what you must, naturally, almost without noticing.
This is what happened to my friend. One day, she told me, happily, that suddenly she realized that that relationship was over inside her... she realized that she didn't feel like saying "yes" to the other, but always "yes" to herself. And to say "yes" to herself meant automatically to say "no" to a relationship that only stole her peace, made her feel reduced, very little considered and not at all happier.
But it didn't happen overnight. Since when we started talking about it, more than 6 months passed. In the beginning, she victimized herself too much every time she said "yes" to the dates, to the same words, to the same asks, to the same complaints and to the same results.
With our talks, she forgave herself at each "yes", repeating to herself that she deserved more, desired more, that she could live a deep, calmer, more satisfactory love... and that she should untie herself from this bankrupted relationship. However, she would respect her own time of maturing, doing every day what she could... until being ready to do what she should...
For this is exactly what happens when we propose, affectionately and respectfully, to accept ourselves. Little by little, step by step, doing what we can, repeating consciously what must be done, comes the day when we get mature and, naturally, almost without noticing, we do what must be done.
Try! Realize how able you are to reach your objectives when you find out that what must be done goes through, before, a sequence of trials that are a fundamental part of your most important victories.
Remember great Thomas Edison's answer, when a reporter asked him if he didn't feel frustrated for having failed 999 times before inventing the lamp and having made it only on the thousandth trial... He wisely answered: I didn't fail anytime. I have invented the lamp. What happens is that it was a process of 1000 steps.
It doesn't matter how many steps you take... as long as you know where you want to go, as long as you know, indeed, that you deserve a great love.

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Rosana Braga é Especialista em Relacionamento e Autoestima, Autora de 9 livros sobre o tema. Psicóloga e Coach. Busca através de seus artigos, ajudar pessoas a se sentirem verdadeiramente mais seguras e atraentes, além de mostrar que é possível viver relacionamentos maduros, saudáveis e prazerosos.
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