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The Blessings of Acceptance

Does Accepting Others as They Are Really Help?

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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 isYES.

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!

Danny

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7 Responses to Does Accepting Others as They Are Really Help?

  1. Heinz Studer says:

    Hi Danny, yes it does help to accept others as they are. However, depending on the pain that was initially caused, time is essence for each person, when it is time and right to forgive. As for myself, your book has mastered to keep on guiding me in into the right direction. Heinz

    • Heinz, thank you for your insightful comment. You raise a good point. Acceptance often takes time to do, particularly if resentment from the transgressions of others–particularly those closest to us–lingers. And as you say, forgiveness is usually required to remove the resentment, thereby allowing us to accept the person as he or she is.

      Danny

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  3. graciemama.wordpress.com says:

    I love ur blog. I just came across your blog today and I’ve been really inspired. God bless you Dan.

  4. Jon says:

    Hi Danny – I read your book a couple of times while I was going through one of the toughest times of my life just a few weeks ago. My wife left me owing mainly to my incessant control of everything and her. I didn’t realize that I was even causing the problems that then caused her to snap and leave.
    In her doing so, we’re barely talking and I’ve lost all of the control I once thought I had. It is an illusion and a painful realization to wake up to.
    I don’t yet know what the future holds. If I let go, will she even see that I’m changing?
    Anyway, it may not have been completely applicable at times, but your book was inspiring and I simply hope that me waking up to my behavior thanks to your words is not too late.

    • Hello Jon, I am very sorry to hear about what you are going through. However, very encouraging things are your awareness of your controlling ways, what it has cost you and your honesty in owning up to it. With awareness comes change; with awareness comes the opportunity for significant growth. I would try to reduce your expectations as to what the future holds regarding you and your wife, and focus primarily on the changes you can make in yourself, particularly reducing your propensity to control others, which likely includes addressing your fears. Going from a controller to a non-controller is a challenging journey, and it doesn’t happen over night. But even small steps bring significant rewards. Wishing you well, Danny.

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