It’s been told to us time and time again that it’s all about understanding. When I understand you and you understand me, then we can give in, we can feel love. Society tells us to find a way to find common ground, then we can live in harmony.
Except it’s not really that way, for simply trying to understand doesn’t mean you like, respect or even love. Simply understanding won’t do the one thing necessary for the other person to be vulnerable, open and let themselves go.
The only way to get there is acceptance. The most beautiful thing you can do for someone else in life is to accept who they are – not judge them, not offer up opinions, not try to change – simply accept. Your opinion of someone else is defined by your own life experiences, your own level of education and theirs may be far different from yours. The worst thing we can do is to hear an opinion from someone we don’t agree with – then judge that person, box them, categorize and dismiss them. We allow a single snapshot from the movie of their life to define their life in our eyes.
Have I got this down to a science? No way. Just sharing what I’ve been learning. Been listening to the 7 Levels of Intimacy with Matthew Kelly recently and he shared this with me – and I share it with you – because I believe it profound and worthy.
We’re all wonderfully, maddeningly different. No two of us alike. So to not accept another person for who they are is to not respect their differences… it’s OK, it just won’t get you very far, nor allow you to get to know that person very well. Acceptance means letting go, we all need to let go a little more. Acceptance means my backstage matters, because my front stage, the part in front of the curtain, is all you get if you don’t get to know me. If you take a peek backstage and tell me its OK, then we’ve got a deal. I do the same for you. A lot in art does that for people, it’s one of the reasons I write. Art shares the truth.
We all wish to be accepted and valued for what we bring to the world, yet so much of it lays beneath the surface. And part of this is on us, for if you keep what you’ve really got inside and don’t share, then it’s tough for anyone to have a shot at accepting you for your true self. The truth will set you free, free to be accepted by those who care about you. It also takes hard work, it’s easy to devalue, or even dismiss. This takes no effort at all and makes us feel better about ourselves because who wants to do the work of seeing another point of view, or even spending time with someone who sees life in a different way? Yet that is where the growth is and where real connections are made.
As Matthew Kelly describes, and I agree, acceptance is the one thing that leads to the one thing we all need… love.
Until next time thanks for taking the time,
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