In these highly divisive, hectic, and chaotic times, accepting others as they are is more vital than ever to our overall well being and contentment. (See my post, “Five Good Reasons for Accepting People as They Are”). This is confirmed by the most highlighted reader quote from Amazon’s best selling ebook version of Losing Control, Finding Serenity:
“The degree to which you accept people, places, and things for who, what, and how they are is the degree to which you will have serenity in your life.”
Yet, while more and more people are coming to realize the importance of accepting others as they are, many others don’t feel that it really helps.
A common refrain I often hear is “I accept the way she (or he is), but that doesn’t help the situation or make me feel any better.”
This dichotomy of views likely lays in what is meant by acceptance.
For me, true acceptance means accepting others as they are—without judgment or resentment (or other negative emotions and feelings).
Hence, my response to those that say that acceptance doesn’t work for them is that they aren’t really practicing it. Such people may say they are accepting of others, but it is invariably accompanied with residual anger, resentment, or other negative feelings—and thus isn’t true acceptance.
What makes accepting others as they are so very difficult for most of us is that,
We must do it without harboring negative feelings toward the other person.
Yet, if we are to be able to let go, move on, and recognize and act upon the realistic (and often beneficial) choices that are available to us even in the most discouraging and debilitating of situations, we must accept others dispassionately.
That requires us to find ways in which to defuse, or at least significantly diminish, our fears, our anxieties, our resentments, and the like, that are stirred up by how others act and are. (In this regard, it helps to understand that acceptance does not mean that we need condone or excuse what we dislike or find distasteful about another, but simply that we recognize that it is beyond our power to meaningfully change the person.)
Consequently, the answer to whether accepting others helps is—YES.
It’s not easy to do, but well worth the effort. (For some guidance, please see my post,”5 Keys to Practicing Acceptance”)
Please share with me and others how you practice acceptance and how it has worked for you.
In the meantime, remember to
Let It Go!
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