A New Year Of Acceptance

A New Year Of Acceptance

Andrea Freedman

We hear the word tolerance mentioned a lot in regards to how to treat other people. While tolerance is a very positive thing, what about the word acceptance? To tolerate someone is not necessarily the same as truly accepting that person.

Furthermore, overall tolerance of people as a whole can sometimes be surprisingly easier than accepting individuals who are actually a part of our daily lives.

On the first day of this year, I realized that a whole year had gone by and I had all but forgotten about my last New Year’s resolution. I would like to make this year not only about tolerance of others but acceptance, not only of others but of myself as well, and I think that is something I can achieve without making a formal resolution to do it.

In order to come to this acceptance, we must first get to know ourselves and admit who we are, and decide that whatever that means, that is okay. After all, how can we expect others to accept us as we are if we ourselves deny our shortcomings and strengths?

Part of acceptance is not being afraid to be real, and to stop putting pressure on ourselves to try to live up to what others expect of us just as we must recognize that our friends and even in some cases our families will not always live up to our expectations of them.

When we accept that each of us are flawed yet good people at the same time in most cases, then perhaps it will make it easier to remember that no one is perfect, but that does not negate each person’s value nonetheless. What one person lacks, in one person’s opinions, in one area, they may make up for in another way.

While I used to be concerned, although fairly certain that I was well thought of by my peers, after the surprising end of some close relationships in my life, I realized that I must accept that not everyone is going to like or accept me or even approve of me.

It is not to say that there is no room for improvement in all of us or that we should give up learning or trying to grow or improve upon our relationships with those who are important to us, but we cannot control what everyone thinks of us and that in itself is sometimes not easy to accept.

More difficult still, some of us may need to accept the fact that we will have to move on from people in our lives who choose not to accept us as we are. It is difficult enough to accept oneself without having to worry about whether or not others do.

All that really matters when it comes down to it is how we each feel about ourselves; if we feel that we are doing right by ourselves.

Rejection is another thing I personally need to accept, and I mean truly accept, in such a way that I don’t spend the rest of the day after receiving a rejection moping and feeling sorry for myself.

I will accept the days when it feels like I have absolutely nothing to say or write about. Tomorrow is another day; acceptance and letting go of the not-so-productive writing days will hopefully lead me to a new day where I will not be able to get the words out fast enough.

Not accepting others, ourselves or situations for what they are can stand in our way of moving forward with our lives in a positive direction. Whether or not we choose to accept reality will most likely not alter the outcome but if we decide not to waste our energy trying to change things or people, it just might lead to inner peace and contentment, longer-lasting relationships and the freedom to fulfil our dreams.

Surely, those are things we all can accept.♦

Copyright © 2013 Andrea Freedman

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About andfreed

I am a Toronto based writer of articles, columns, essays and novels.

Posted on January 7, 2013, in Weekly Thoughts and Observations. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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