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Accept in the Other Direction

While we must accept our own realities and not live out the fictionalized version of our lives and personalities, we must also take accept and send it in the other direction: toward others.

How many people in your life, from parents, spouses, children, and friends, drive you either silently or loudly crazy?

How hard is it for you to accept everything from the personality quirks to the downright unacceptable behavior traits of others?

How often in the name of either peace or years of habit have you excepted and not accepted others?

What price have you paid for this?

Mom would be much nicer to me, except she had a tough childhood: Her mom was never there for her, and her dad was unable to express emotions. Her disregard for my feelings and oftentimes hurtful behavior can be attributed to this. But while you are ladling up the excepts, are you stuffing your own feelings and shoving your needs to the very bottom of your emotional drawer? And what is this action costing you? Are you resentful, full of rage and sadness that weaves its way into the other corners of your life?

We are all faced with people whose behavior we have no control over. If we let it, it can color our world dark and murky. It can ruin days, years, and lives if we let it. In these situations we have to move to the place of "accept." We have to drop the "except" and accept people for who they are, and that means who they aren't as well.

The "Everybody has a bad day" mantra can give you a moment or two to allow the "This relationship is OVER if you don't change" train of thought to roll by. Allow a little time for the dust to settle and then reassess the situation. If you decide to stay, the housecleaning may be extensive and may include a fair amount of your own debris. The "It's a wonder I'm not a sniper with you as my parents" thought needs to be replaced with the realization that we're all, for the most part, raised by amateurs. Forgive them and end the advertising campaign that requires you to share with everyone you know how screwed-up your childhood was. The time saved can be used constructively to make new friends to replace the old ones you bored to death with your endless complaints.

Often in accepting the imperfections of others we can forgive their emotional and behavioral failings at the same time. We can accept that there are people and things over which we have no control and then, if we desire, we can hand it over to our higher power.