In an earlier post I had written about my encounter with J – a person who changed the course of my life after only a few brief meetings.
In our brief encounter she taught me two things:
1) to embrace comfort in solitude,
2) to practice unconditional acceptance.
In essence, unconditional acceptance is the practice of accepting a person in totality regardless of what you think of him. It is basically meeting someone and learning of traits you don’t agree with, but choosing to accept him and welcome his presence in front of you anyway.
Sounds lovely doesn’t it? But let’s face it, it’s our greatest struggle. To accept someone unconditionally.
It’s definitely a struggle for me. The fundamental problem with trying to practice unconditional acceptance is the environment you’re in. If people around you are quick to pass judgment and project such influences on you, you’re bound to think the same way.
There is no short cut in trying to achieve unconditional acceptance of others. It’s just something you need to tell yourself over and over again. “I don’t agree with what you do or how you’re like but I will accept you anyway.” Over and over again.
Accepting differences is unbearably hard. Especially for someone like me who likes to live life according to a set of preconceived notions. “She should be like this.” “He should be like that.”
“Nobody is ever like how you imagined them to be. And you shouldn’t try to change that”
Peace of mind
Why I wanted to try and achieve unconditional acceptance of others is to achieve a peace of mind. When you reject and resent others, it actually doesn’t leave your mind and without realising it you are bothered by it internally. That’s toxic and makes you bitter.
I am trying hard everyday to accept people for who they are. I’ve started with my family. As much as I want to change certain traits about my parents and siblings, I can’t. And that much about them won’t change for me either. So I decided to try and just accept them for who they are, how they are and learned to be happy with it. I told myself that “I don’t always agree with you but I love you nonetheless and I will accept you as you are.” Instead of always trying to change them in my head, for once I felt liberated.
When you accept others in totality, you are at peace. Perhaps that is what will save humanity.