I have been thinking about this big word ACCEPTANCE for quite some time now. I have been thinking about it even more recently as I have been coming to terms with the terminal illness of one of my uncles. I recall him from family reunions and various celebrations as always being the larger than life uncle who would come over and try to encourage you to join into whatever fun was going on. I have always been a more introverted and cautious individual so he wasn’t very often able to encourage me to join. What I find so interesting about these recollections is that as much as he wanted me to join in, he was never critical about the fact that I didn’t, as long as I was there and present in whatever way made me comfortable, then he was ultimately happy. I now live in a different province than my whole family (except for my husband, of course) and while I love living here a part of me wishes that I was there also. The gift of complete acceptance no matter what my mood or attitude (and through the various years I can guarantee that the attitude was not great) is one that I am so grateful for now. I hope to help to share this gift with the people that I come into contact with throughout my life and I hope to do it with the same ease that he has done. Here he is, larger than life at my wedding, just the way I will probably always see him.
As I have reflected on this gift I also realized that by accepting people as they are we are given the gift of knowing them more fully because they feel comfortable sharing parts of themselves that they normally wouldn’t. As soon as we are listening, the things that we can hear are huge. I recently put this into practice by asking my sister about her tattoos. She has had these for many years and I have never asked the question before of “What is the story behind each one?”. She has four and has graciously allowed me to share three of them here with you. There is a story behind each one and each story reveals something about her. She is one of the most interesting, beautiful and kind people that I know. I am so glad that I took the time to listen.
Just because we accept people and the choices they have made that reflect their life’s journey does not mean that we would make the same choices. We have to make our own choices that reflect our life’s journey and who we are and then we have to accept ourselves (that’s the big journey). Why is it so difficult to accept ourselves? Why is it so difficult to even know ourselves well enough to accept ourselves?
Part of our acceptance journey is also about our physical reality. We need to be able to state our physical truth and then drop any judgement about that. If we could be more accepting of our truth then we could also be happier. Out of happiness amazing things can happen. Out of shame (which is what judgement is) not much can be achieved. Once we state our physical truth and let go of the judgement we can then use the tools that fashion provides to create an image and a style that is reflective of us. Are you worried that by accepting a physical truth that it will never change? Maybe it will and maybe it won’t but wouldn’t it be easier to go through life being happy about ourselves, rather than critical? So much about life changes, I don’t think that by accepting something we could ever set it in stone.
What is your story about acceptance?