From Mr. Richo’s book, here are the five things we cannot change:
1. Everything changes and ends.
2. Things do not always go according to plan.
3. Live is not always fair.
4. Pain is part of life.
5. People are not loving and loyal all the time.
Richo says that we are powerless over these five things and as soon as you accept these as fact the faster you will recover from their seeming fatalities.
If we deny these facts then we are in an illusion. The sooner the illusion is exposed the healthier one becomes. Hence the reason for accepting these givens as facts.
As addressed by the Buddha he cut through his own illusions to become enlightened. He teaches that we are not victims of some mysterious outside force that is maliciously punishing us. It is us who refuses to see the facts of any given situation. He also teaches when we face these illusions we become more fully integrated into the person we are meant to become.
I recommend reading the book because Richo elaborates extensively on the five givens in life, how to accept them and move to incredible happiness.
I hope you enjoy and learn from it.