We all want to be accepted. It really doesn’t matter who we are or what we have in common with someone else…just accept us for who we are and don’t worry about the rest! Is this true? It seems to be the socially and politically correct thing in the world today. Just accept everyone…or most everything. We can get philosophical and remind ourselves of some of the things that we think of as acceptance:
ACCEPTANCE OF RELIGIOUS BELIEFS:
- Catholic Christians.. Understanding beliefs and practices of the Catholic Church, acceptance is key to being a committed and devoted catholic. That may include family planning; going to confession; repenting of sins and church attendance. This also is true of the emphasis other Christian groups place on their particular brand of Christian faith and commitment.
- Jews… some similar beliefs in that they accept the Ten Commandments as a way to live and have a good and fulfilling life (Mcdowell and Stewart, 1983).
- Muslims.…acceptance of Allah as their higher being and the teachings of the Koran.
Whatever a person’s religious beliefs, they believe that acceptance of these parts of their faith is important to show structure and commitment in everyday life. Let’s look at some other types of acceptance?
PERSONAL ACCEPTANCE How people accept one another has a direct effect on the individual’s self-esteem and well-being. Does this have to be true? We are told that this need for approval will have a direct impact on a person’s life. Some may even cause psychological disorders. Examples are: approval by parents; acceptance by work associates; peer pressure in schools ; living up the religious up-bringing or teachings and many more relationships.
We have to ask ourselves a very important question.
Is total acceptance what we really want and is it good for us? On the surface, it seems to be a good thing…but maybe not.
- Is it best to be totally accepted by a peer group, whether work; at school, or socially? What are their values?
- Are there dangers to relationships that keeps us in bondage to a person… such as a battered wife who feels there is no recourse? We could elaborate on this where a male is concerned.
- Is staying true to religious tenants that do not bring us to a peaceful, loving God, what we really need or want?
All of this seems complicated…and often we make it so. The thing that is most important is the ACCEPTANCE OF ONE’S SELF. After all, we live with ourselves moment by moment. We are told that we should not be so self-centered. Why not? Of course, we do not mean self-centered to the neglect of others or so wrapped-up in ourselves that no one else matters.
“Self acceptance (or self-centered, as we mean it) is being happy with who you are now. It’s an agreement with yourself to appreciate, validate, accept and support who you are at this moment.” If you find that things in your life need change, then work toward that…evaluating WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU.
ACCEPTANCE…NOT RESIGNATION People may asked how they can accept something or someone that has brought great pain in their life…death of a loved one; a divorce; sickness. All these things may not be able to be changed. They are what life has given. There is a difference between acceptance and resignation. Realization that one can not change the past or the sadness of the present has a lot to do with acceptance. This is living in reality…not in fantasy or wishful thinking.
“Accepting whatever the loss is, does not mean you are forgetting the loss or that you won’t ever feel sad again, but it’s a turning point that means better things are to come.”
All of this is just food for thought as you may be asking yourself how important is acceptance to you. You may also be thinking about relationships, beliefs, and what works for you in your life. Some things may worry you.
There is only One who fully accepts us just as we are and gives us the courage to face life daily. We are told in the Holy Scriptures ( Philippians 4:6) “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
In this video, we see that there are some unusual bonds of acceptance…and just as in humans…those bonds that seem like a good thing may turn out to give an outcome not anticipated. I watched this video several times and heard words that I think also have to do with human behavior when it comes to acceptance…and a need for a relationship. You will hear these words in the dialog: obsession, bonds, controlling, complex emotions and intimacy. All of these pull us into a need for acceptance…to our good or to our detriment. In your own life, you will have to be the judge.