Acceptance & Love

Acceptance 2

Acceptance and Love ? by Little John Behan Aog

When Debra Oakland and I were discussing the topic for this month’s newsletter, she brought up this subject. As it has always been near and dear to my heart, I jumped at it.

Acceptance is a big topic, covering a wide array of subjects, but for our purposes today, I’d ask to turn our attention to the subject of acceptance and love, and how the two go together so naturally.

As I thought about acceptance, it struck me that regardless of whether we’re talking about accepting life, people, our situation or the world, it always comes back to the simple truth that acceptance is a very personal act. It’s got nothing to do with external things, and everything to do with who we are, how we look at things, and the degree to which we judge things.

Life is as it is, regardless of our acceptance of it. It’s all about us, and therefore it’s all ours to lay claim to. It’s our own personal journey, which no one else will ever truly know about. It does however help to know that we do share a lot in common concerning this, and we’re not alone.

I’ve been privileged to be exposed to different kinds of spiritual disciplines in my day. I’ve enjoyed coming to know other people, and how they look at our universe, our lovely planet, who we are, how we got here, how to deal with life’s issues and where we seem to be going in the future. And without mentioning any one in particular, I can say that there have been those whose impression was much more lasting and powerful than others. Consistently, there was one quality that the very best all shared in common, a conviction that was at the core of their belief system. They all held to a sincere practice of accepting others (and themselves) as they were, without judgment or criteria for them to be worthy of love. And this, I witnessed first hand, time and again, having a profound impact on the lives of many different sorts of people.

It seems that, no matter who we are, we all have a deep, perhaps unspoken desire to simply be accepted. And ironically, since it seems to come so infrequently in our world, that to be the recipient of such a gift can be a profoundly moving and powerful experience. It carries along with it the power to open hearts to all kinds of other spiritual principles like forgiveness, humility and gratitude. But trying to communicate love without acceptance can fall upon deaf ears. Many is the person who heard someone say that they loved them, but never believed it because they communicated just as strongly that they did not accept them.

Simple acceptance of a person, just as they are, is, and always has been the basis of love. It builds new bridges. It also sends the utmost important message that, “I do not consider myself to be superior to you”, a rare message to be on the receiving end of for just about anyone, anytime.

In just the same manner, simple acceptance of ourselves is also the basis of self-love. When we accept ourselves, though it sounds cliché, we do find it much easier to accept others as well. Perhaps more important than anything, the practice of accepting our self as we are, and others as they are, changes us. It peels off layer after layer of judgmental thinking that may have been passed onto us through family and friends, for generations. And when that occurs, we too are open to spiritual principles like forgiveness, humility and gratitude.

We all seek to be loving people, for the benefit of ourselves, our families and our world. And alas, simple acceptance is the doorway to them all.

Little John Behan Aog

The Ambassador of Gratitude, Little John, is a writer, speaker and CEO of Gratitude Growing, “The Movement of Gratitude for Seniors.” As an audio/video production specialist, he’s also created many videos and audio productions including his recent new radio program, Little John Radio. His inspirational posts have built an active facebook family residing in all 50 United States and 78 foreign countries. Friends like to say the he has “More coverage than Verizon!” His two-fold passions are for the well-being of older adults, and inspiring people to live a life of Gratitude.

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