Acceptance! What does that mean? What have I learned about acceptance, and am I willing to “accept” what I am learning about acceptance and practice that? 😏
So I know accepting people does not itself mean agreeing with them, approving of them, waiving your own rights, or downplaying their impact upon you. You can still take appropriate actions to protect or support yourself. Or the other option is you can simply let people be. Either way, you accept the reality of the other person. Or do you?
Well, you may not like it, you may not prefer it, you may feel sad or angry about it, but at a deeper level, you are at peace with it; and if you are, that alone is a blessing. And sometimes, your shift to acceptance can help things get better. I have a new understanding that “peace” doesn’t mean that everything is ok, and there are no problems, struggles, conflicts, frustrations, anger etc.. in your life- In my perspective, “peace” is not the absence of trouble, “peace” simply is knowing God is right there with you in the midst of the trouble. So I practice “peace” while I’m learning to “accept” people as they are.
The other day I was asked how much I like it when I feel that another person accepts me completely. “It’s a beautiful gift”, I said- in return, the response was “we can give that same gift to others when we accept them and it might improve my relationship with them if that person felt I accepted him or her fully. I was speechless- which is very very rare for me.
Then I was asked: What if someone were judging me and not accepting me? How would I feel? ANNOYED! I said quickly, and a little bit sad, hurt and maybe angry?
Then how about look for the positive? Well, I try to look for the positive, and it becomes harder when I see the negative so much- or is it because that’s what I choose to focus on? Hmmmm? I ponder at the thought when I was told “not accepting others is a result of seeing the negative in me”. I beg to differ my friend- lol 😜 but I’m understanding it more clearly…. instead of focusing on why someone is different, I’m going to TRY and focus on what’s good about that person. This is going to take A LOT of practice! Maybe I can start by focusing on their eyes, or their smile, their voice, something that I like about them, and maybe even talk about something they love or are passionate about. That will definitely let me see them in a positive way, and it will change their demeanor/poise as well as mine. My way to solve things is not always the best one (even though at times, I really believe I know my way will solve it) 😉 – maybe it will solve it, but I can’t intrude and instill my way– maybe that person needs to experience their journey & solve it in their way, in their own time. Maybe, just maybe, their way will work out and that’s the lesson I needed to learn?
As we learn that you can still disagree with someone while accepting them fully; we can practice “accepting ourselves” first, and focusing on self-approval.
I know I can just “listen” when someone is in need- this is a priceless gift you can give anyone. Maybe that’s all the other person needs, is someone to listen to them- with compassion and without interruption. They are not looking for you to solve it, just for you to listen. It also gives me the opportunity and shows me who they are, what their challenges are, and I can feel the empathy and hopefully we can connect.
I forget that every person is doing the very best that they can do, under the given circumstances they are in. I shouldn’t judge to begin with, but I definitely shouldn’t judge from the outside when I have no idea what struggles they are facing and dealing with. Just because people don’t share it doesn’t mean it’s not there… some have chosen to keep it quiet.
It’s practice, and I have my share of people who are difficult, inconsiderate, it’s all about “me” attitude, and what “they” want, and what “they” need, and what “they” are doing for me and and what I’m not doing for “them” or when they don’t like what I’m saying (because I’m not agreeing with them or feeding into the chaos), they want to get off the phone and end the conversation. My favorite is when “they” make an error, and I get blamed for it, or I get the attitude as if it’s my fault it happened. I mean seriously??? So I have my days where I ignore all that and just listen to them, and then I have my days where I feel the need to tell them exactly how their approach or demeanor towards me is making me feel, especially if I’m feeling they are being disrespectful or speaking at me with a demeaning tone. If I say it kindly, and share that I / we also have struggles, have bad days too, make mistakes too, maybe it’ll connect our hearts? I’m allowed to feel my feelings, regardless of what they are, so I set boundaries, that if I feel I’m being disrespected, then I will express that and will not continue the conversation when it’s in a rude tone or making me feel uncomfortable. I can however express that I’m willing to continue our conversation, if it’s done with respect.
As in all things in life, nothing is going to happen overnight. I take each day as it comes, and try and make it better, and different from the day before. I especially do not want to repeat any negativity from the day before onto today. With practice, it becomes a habit, a healthy habit vs. continuing the bad habits that get us no where. We have to start somewhere, right?
I love these 3 quotes that I remind myself several times a week- now if we can all practice this, there sure will be changes made in our lives. 🙏
“If nothing changes, nothing will change”
“For things to change, things have to change”
“Maybe it needs to start with me“