30 December 2011

Important Thoughts on Acceptance

Radical Acceptance says that life works better when you accept people  for who they are, without judgment.  Once you have done that you can  then act accordingly.             

What does that mean?  Here is an example.  In a car the accelerator pedal  is on the right and the brake is to the left.  That is not a big deal.  I don't see  impassioned pleas to rearrange the pedals.  People know this and accept it  without judgment.  Now let's imagine that you think having this arrangement  is bad.  Furthermore, since you don't like it, you are going to act as if the  pedals are reversed.  It won't take you long to come to grief.

But failure to accept people is like the example above.  How many of us see,  not the person in front of us, but the person we expect to see.  Then we act  as if they are how we expect to see them.  And, sure enough, we come to grief.

Come to know them through their actions, accept without judgment and act  accordingly.  If the other is a controlling person, then I know I will either need  to let go my need for control or be prepared for a battle of wills.  If the other is  chronically late, then need to invite them early to events, be prepared to start  without them or wait.  In any case, to get upset is to pretend they are someone  different - and that's like pretending the accelerator and brake are reversed, a quick road to grief.

~Christopher Oliphant

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