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The Promise of Hope, Chapter 7: Acceptance

Edward Grinnan shares the seventh key element of personal growth from his book, The Promise of Hope.

Transcript

Hi, I’m Edward Grinnan, Editor in Chief of Guideposts and author of the new Guideposts book “The Promise of Hope: How Two Stories of Hope and Inspiration Saved My Life and How They Can Transform Yours.” 

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The key to change I talk about in Chapter 7 is acceptance. And acceptance might seem almost antithetical to change because it seems to be maintaining the status quo. But acceptance is when you learn to reconcile yourself to a situation you can’t change. And therefore, you have to change yourself. And that involves acceptance. 

I talk about a couple of stories and the people who told them that I worked on for Guideposts in this chapter. They’re a couple of my favorite all-time stories. One was Patty Rose who, after a lifelong estrangement from her father, discovers that he has Alzheimer’s and he has no one to turn to and nowhere to go except her and her home. And what happens, what I tell about this story, is Patty’s incredible struggle to accept the relationship that she had with her father– the difficult and painful one– and then, the sort of miraculous change in that relationship that comes from her acceptance of it to begin with. 

And then, the second story is– I’m a little bit of a sports nut, and I particularly love baseball. I had an opportunity once to talk to a baseball player named Tommy Herr who, after a long and illustrious career with the St. Louis Cardinals, was traded. And Tommy found that almost impossible to accept. 

And it really is amazing to think of yourself as being traded. Imagine if your family traded you away for someone else or your company traded you for someone else. It’s hard to believe that you wouldn’t feel that in a very, very deep and personal level, as did Tommy. And I learned a tremendous lesson in acceptance by talking to Tommy. 

I sat down with him at actually Tiger Stadium in Detroit. We sat in the dugout one afternoon. And he told me a story from the Bible that helped him accept his trade. And I share that in Chapter 7. 

In my years working at Guideposts, I think the thing that people have the most trouble accepting in life is the end of a relationship. Whether it’s the end of a friendship, the end of a romance, the end of a marriage, the end of a job, people get so stuck and trapped in their inability to simply accept what’s happened and move on, to accept a situation that they can’t change, that they must change themselves. 

And I myself found myself in that very position. It had to do with a longstanding relationship that I had with a woman when I was young, in my 20s, a relationship that I thought would never end. But because of my own behavior, because of my own struggles and shortcomings, the relationship did end. And I couldn’t accept it at first. And I tell the story of how I finally got to the point of acceptance and could move on with my life. 

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You can order my book by going to Guideposts.org/PromiseofHope. Check back next week when I’ll share another inspiring Guideposts story from the next chapter of “The Promise of Hope.” And I’ll tell you a little bit more about my own story as well. See you then. 

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