Acceptance Brings Peace

As a counselor I hear varying points of view.  I don’t have to agree with my clients’ interests, world views or beliefs to connect with them.  I am not in the business of converting anyone to my way of life.  I’m in the business of accepting people where they are.  It’s not always easy for me, but it is what I choose to do.  I want to be careful this post doesn’t sound like I have it all together and if everyone was like me we wouldn’t have any problems.  I know I don’t have it all together, I know I make mistakes and I am certain I have judged people.  I simply want to place a challenge out there.  What if we just accept people as is?

I am not proposing that we agree with everyone.  That would be not only impossible as some beliefs contradict others but also inadvisable.  I’m all about encouraging people to see themselves as distinct from those around them not advocating chameleonism.   Accepting another person simply for who he is and the ideals he holds, is quite different from agreeing with him.  When I accept a person as is I am saying I don’t feel threatened by him.  I don’t need to spin wildly to defend what I believe upon discovering my beliefs are different from his.  My job is not to change the other person.  When I embrace that, I relax.  There’s freedom to hear the other’s thoughts, views, and experiences without thinking about what I need to say to convince him he’s wrong and I’m right.

Challenge: When you hear an opinion different from your own, accept that person as is and notice what happens to your thoughts, emotions and body.

Categories: Boundaries, Relationships, Self-Help | Tags: | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “Acceptance Brings Peace

  1. So true! Thank you. I “gave up” trying to foist my opinions on others years ago. It never worked and just led to arguments and occasionally the loss of a friend.
    I now have a large network of friends and I find that their differences enrich my Life. Also, I’ve noticed that, as we are such funny (strange) personalities, bundles of our individual life experiences, that I can almost “cherry pick” the parts of my friends that I really like. If they do not have a diverse approach to others, I simply avoid or ignore the comments they make that grate on my beliefs.
    Of course, this does not make me mix with people who challenge my values. I avoid them and won’t engage with them. Instead I find that now, I am far more tolerant, and life is easier and richer as a result.

  2. Reblogged this on kenkennardblog.

  3. That is one of the wonderful aspects to the 12 step process. If I truly follow it, I embrace those who are different than me because we only have one primary purpose. Pg 417 of the 4th edition and page 449 of the first 3 editions has for the famous saying, “Acceptance is the key……” When I am practicing the principles I look for those who are different and find our commonality.
    Thanks for the post and thanks Ken for reblogging it.

  4. I just came across your post today, but at a time when I really needed it. I just had a conversation with someone very dear to me, about accepting my faith. It’s difficult with one person believing in god and the other not believing. We know we disagree, but we haven’t come to terms yet with how to accept each other while disagreeing. Thanks for your post, it’s encouraging!

    • I’m thankful my post was helpful. 🙂

      • Interesting. I’ve had this a lot throughout my life. Now I accept myself as a spiritual being, and others as, essentially, the same. There are many portals through which we can each pass, to be in touch with, and experience Divinity in all its forms.
        So, you wouldn’t fall out with a good friend just because their front door was a different colour to yours would you?
        I have many friends of different cultural and religious backgrounds and I love our unique friendship. It enriches both our lives.

      • Thank you for sharing your experience with acceptance 🙂

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