Each of us has a human need for ACCEPTANCE. When we are accepted by others, we feel that we are adequate and enough as we are. Yet, amidst our seeking of it from others, learning to offer it, as an act of love, is key to building healthy relationships.
Accepting others is a way of being that invites safety within our relationships. It requires us to drop and dismantle all ideas of who we want another to be, and in so doing, say through our words and actions, that we accept and approve of them as they are. When we accept another like this, we send them the message that we love them, in all their individuality, even if we may disagree with their choices, their opinions, their lifestyle, or their way of being in the world. It means we are okay with them, even if they display traits that we don’t like or can’t understand. It means taking the differences between us and letting them slide because we love this person regardless of how much they differ from us.
For some of us, accepting others like this takes a great deal of personal work. We have to work on fostering deeper empathy, on expanding our understanding, of acknowledging and honouring differences and uniqueness in the world. We may have to work hard to deconstruct our illusions about how we want others to be. We take an honest look at how we may want them to be someone other than who they are, usually because we want to feel more comfortable. When we drop trying to mould someone in ways that are other to who they are, we set them free to be. We let them live as they are because we love and respect them enough to value their unique way.
What belief system about your partner can you dismantle that will foster greater acceptance of them? What disapproving idea about them do you carry that you need to question and perhaps drop?