Ground Hog Day: Lessons in Acceptance


Ground Hog Day marks the mid-point between the Winter Solstice of December and the Spring Equinox of March. It’s also time for the annual pilgrimage to Punxsutawney, PA, where we pin our hopes for an early Spring on a rodent.

Phil Connors—Bill Murray’s character in the 1993 film Ground Hog Day—is an unwillingly pilgrim. He holds himself apart from his co-workers, apart from his job, and apart from life. His pessimism has isolated him, and none of his manipulations are getting him into the game. His craving for the world to be different only alienates him further.

Getting stuck

Phil is stuck in his life. Then he goes to Punxsutawney and gets stuck in the day. He escapes from Ground Hog Day only when he learns to work past his self-limiting behaviors and his craving for life to be different.

Phil was fortunate. Time stood still for him. The rest of us are not that lucky. Time is not going to stand still while we find our place. We have to do it on the run. But we can do it.

Craving keeps us from participating in life

Craving is the source of our suffering. Craving keeps us from fully participating in our own lives. Despite what the commercials say, you won’t be more attractive, or have more wealth or friends or . . . whatever your fantasy of more might be, if you only had that new car, new hairdo, or hot fudge sundae.

Acceptance is the key.Accept yourself as you are. Being touch with your true needs will help to reduce your cravings. Your life partner doesn’t need to change; your boss doesn’t need to change. You don’t need to win the lottery. Accept that the universe is not going to change to accommodate your desires. Live life on life’s terms.

See life from a different perspective

Does that mean life is a bowl of cherries? Hardly. Acceptance helps you see life from a different perspective. The unhappy boss is not about you. The boss’s unhappiness is his or hers to own, not yours. Not winning the lottery simply means you live within your means with no regrets that you cannot afford that luxury car.

Acceptance means you can meet your needs with realistic approaches. You won’t feel hopeless because the universe is not cooperating with you.

On Ground Hog Day, you won’t be left hoping for an early end to winter. Instead, you’ll be confident in your knowledge that the Spring Equinox is only 6 weeks away.




This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s