I came across this article on O magazine with the interview of Marsha M. Linehan, PhD, a professor of psychology at the University of Washington in Seattle. She points out that there are five responses to any given problem...
1. To solve the problem - either change the situation or leave it.
2. The second is to change how you feel about the problem.
3. Radically accepting and living with the unhappiness. You don't deny the pain of what's missing, but you learn to live with it.
4. Stay miserable
5. You can make things worse.
I hightlight # 3 because that's what she wants us to focus on. "We're not trying to make it okay or not okay. We're trying to accept it as fact, because that's a way to get unstuck. If you wanted children and you don't have them and you radically accept that, you can go out and build nurturing relationships with young people. I was meant by God to have 12 children, but that isn't what I got. I don't have a biological child, but in my life there's a child who's like my own. The failure to accept is the failure to replace. Because you won't accept that there's a hole in your life, you do nothing to fill the hole. Maybe you can never fill it all the way, but believe me, a hole three-quarters filled beats an empty hole."
You can read full article here.