Monday, October 26, 2015

Accept People, Period: A Rant About the Semantics Of Acceptance

A few weeks back, I had a post about acceptance that garnered lots of views and reactions. It prompted me to quickly crank out this rant about acceptance.

I was challenged, privately, of course, as to what exactly did I "mean" by acceptance?

If you mean, I've got to deny my beliefs to save your feelings, then I don't accept some people.

I have my values and they inform what I accept or don't accept

and my personal favorite...

I can love someone without accepting their actions or behaviors.

Wow. Just wow.

Let's start with a dictionary definition of acceptance and there are three:

  1. the action of consenting to receive or undertake something offered.

  2. the action or process of being received as adequate or suitable, typically to be admitted into a group.

  3.      agreement with or belief in an idea, opinion, or explanation

Which do you think applies to people the most? Within the context of relationships and doing life with others, which definition makes the most sense?

If you did not choose definition number 2,  then that's where we part. When I blogged about acceptance from people who I potentially want to do life with or family a few weeks back, I was specifically applying definition number two as in "received as adequate or suitable."

We are not required to agree or believe in everything around us. We are not required to consent to receive something offered to us. But we are damn sure obligated to receive people in our lives as they are - adequate and suitable - ENOUGH by simply being alive and willing to relate to us.

We have to stop this trend of taking words out of context to fit our agendas. Sure, there are several definitions of acceptance but only one applies as it relates to relationships with people. And of course, this all goes out the window where there is abuse of any kind present within a relationship.

My rant is clear. I am raging over the way we accept some stories in our lives and reject others. Whether it's gender, race, political or religious views, we have to do better.

People are enough as they are.

Stop making people feel as though they have to "do something" to be in our lives.

Quit trying to alter someone else's narrative to fit yours. 

Start by accepting yourself.

Look in the mirror and fully accept what you see and if you don't like it, then do something to change. But don't go projecting your own acceptance issues on those around you.

I fully embrace acceptance at its core meaning for those in my life and people I meet every day. We need all stories told to better our world. Who am I to reject or diminish another human being's experience and existence? Who are you?

Please take time this week to notice when you are rejecting or diminishing someone else and stop it. Everyone deserves acceptance in society and it starts one-to-one in our relationships.

Start today.

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