Accepting Others for Who They Are (and 3 Tips to Get You Started)
It's the time of year for celebrating with friends and family. Though sometimes, instead of being fully present with others, sharing ourselves and our love openly, and enjoying our time together... we get sidetracked, either in our minds or in reality, because:
- we spend time worrying about whether we have others' approval or how we can get it
- we spend time trying to convince others that our way is right and their way is wrong
- we get caught up in thinking and behavior patterns of an older version of ourselves
- we see others according to our labels and judgements of them, rather than who they really are.
When we feel any of these patterns bubbling up inside us, we can bring ourselves back to what is truly important, by remembering:
1. Everyone has their own path that is right and true for them. We all have a way of living and approaching each day that works for us. And it's natural for us to want others, especially those we love, to follow our path too. It's important to recognize though, that trying to convince others that our way is best, will usually lead to disappointment. On the contrary, change can surprisingly and naturally occur in others when we stay true to our own path, without trying to change a thing about theirs. And if it doesn't, that's okay too.
2. We can still show love to others when we disagree with their way. Just because we don't agree with how someone else lives their life, it doesn't mean we have to change how we interact with them and whether or not we extend love and care towards them. Rather than being threatened, dismayed or frustrated by our differences, we can celebrate them. What is it that you can learn from their way? What has it brought to your attention, and how does it illuminate changes you'd love to make within yourself? When we honor others for who they are (and even see parts of ourselves in them), we can love them more. When we accept others, we also become more accepting of ourselves.
3. Rather than trying to change others, focus on yourself. We empower ourselves when we shift attention away from how others live, and place our awareness on our own lives. Where, in your own life, could you be more accepting towards yourself? Are you honoring your own path and being true to yourself? Could you let go of wanting to change others, and....could you let go of wanting to change yourself? What would happen if you were at peace with how things are right now? When we take the time to look within, it becomes easier to stay centered in who we are and accept, no matter what the path, that we are all essentially the same.
Think for a moment. If you were free of your past, worries, judgements and labels in relation to others, how might your relationships shift?
I'd love to hear about your experience of holding this intention, and whether it helps you celebrate with others and this season with more love, presence, and whole-heartedness.