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Most of us are OK with change as long as the change was our own idea or the event turns out to be fun or exciting. But change imposed from the outside, particularly if it is life-altering and/or destructive sends us into an emotional crisis.

The Buddha was right: Life is loss. That is the first truth but we don't realize it. But if we accept it, out of that comes freedom. If we know that nothing is permanent and change is inevitable (and often not of our own choosing), then we can detach ourselves from the desire to control, and that detachment will let us be happier people.

It takes work to accept the truth, detach from it, and be happy. Many of us would rather be lazy, make excuses, lie to ourselves that we couldn't help it; we were victims of circumstance or of others' ill will. That road leads to great pain and illusion; passive-aggressive people are always suffering--and waiting to be rescued, waiting for the big break, hoping for manna in the desert.

Joy lies in choosing the change, accepting the loss, the impermanence of life and seeing it as part of the great circle of life and death and rebirth. The acceptance of loss allows us to accept joy. Resisting change, trying to control everything, makes for sorrow and despair.

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