Return To Self: Acceptance of Others

Photo by 浮萍 闪电 on Unsplash

Happy 2019! Yes, I am aware that it’s practically February, but that’s the great part about being accountable to only yourself. 🙂

Over the last 6 posts I have delved a great deal into SELF. It’s been all about You, how to find and be the most authentic version of Yourself.

If you have been doing any kind of self-awareness work with an aim towards improving yourself and enjoying life more, I am sure that this has been one of the most challenging areas. Accepting others. You see, the second you start “living your best life” most of us develop this irresistible urge to share with everyone around us and hopefully get them to join us.

Actually the most frustrating thing is going through what feels like a life changing transformation only to realize that no one gets it or even wants to be part of it.

Having gone through my huge life disruption (Yes, that’s what I am calling it), I felt reborn and excited to share it with anyone who would give me the time of day. Imagine my consternation when majority of the people to whom I expressed my new found way of life were less than enthused.

I mean, I have always been a fixer. The person to whom people turned when they wanted advice or direction or just a simple vent. So imagine my frustration that people were not lining up to hear all about my new found wisdom.

Then it hit me. We are all on an individual journey. The same way I had worked on my Self, I had to assume that everyone was/is on some version of a journey. This journey is deeply personal and customized to each individual. And that journey is what we call Life.

We are all at different stages with our individual progress being determined by our own individual choices. This is also why some people will come into our lives for a certain duration and then leave once that season is over. It’s also why you can be very close friends with a certain person and over time, slowly drift apart. Your journeys simply take different directions.

Now this is the most important part. You have to respect everyone else’s journey, just as you expect them to respect yours.

In the same way that you are now selfish and putting yourself first, you need to understand that everyone else is doing their journey their way, and respect that. Don’t force your way on people, after all there is no right or wrong way.

Your way, your choices, your journey – that’s what worked for you. It doesn’t mean it will work for everyone else. You are actually quite irrelevant to another person’s journey; the same way they are irrelevant to yours.

This was particularly hard for me, till I figured out one thing. At every point in life, there are always people who will come alongside you. People who will be at a similar point in their journey, hence will be able to understand your language. These are the people who will form your support system and walk along with you as you journey together on your individual paths. They will get you and you will get them. That’s what I call Your Tribe.

Meanwhile, when you encounter those not in your tribe, extend the grace that you would expect extended to you. Remember that each person is entitled to their opinion and it’s based on their perspective. Contrary to popular opinion, we do not all have to agree on one particular way of doing something.

Accept every person just as they are, it’s not your job to change anyone else or their thought process. Resist the urge to “fix them” – no one is broken; they are just on their own journey. You are not the expert on anyone else’s life, so refrain from giving advice based on your experience. Instead, act as a guide. If they need to talk, offer an ear for them to bounce their thoughts off of. Then direct them to seek the answers within them.

Refrain from judging and labeling people and their behavior based on what you think is appropriate. It’s OK to have your opinion and even voice it but remember not to ram it down everyone’s throats. Adopt a neutral and detached manner in your approach to other people and their opinions.

In a nutshell, Live and let live.

 

(Missed the previous post? Read it HERE.)

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