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Why Full Acceptance Is The Way To Go

Child meeting duckWe often describe something we call total acceptance, but what do we actually mean by that term?

Well, first let’s discuss what we don’t mean. We don’t mean that you should accept abuse or bullying or attempts at dominance. We don’t mean compromising to keep the peace. We don’t mean giving up parts of yourself to make room for your partner’s needs or demands.

Those are all power plays. We live with each other in a completely different way. Total acceptance is the foundation of our relationship. That means that whatever the other person does is fine. No bitching, no trying to change them, no adding it to a private list of complaints.

We can hear you thinking, whoa, how unrealistic! That can’t possibly work. My partner won’t do things the right way. It sounds like a recipe for anarchy. They’ll get their own way all the time.

But that’s not how it is with us. The way we are follows from what we have been writing about in the last couple of weeks: individuality, respecting the uniqueness of each other; and matching core values, the ones from which you make your decisions and take your actions. It is these two that prepare the ground for total acceptance to take root and blossom.

We use a garden metaphor because it does seem to be an element that, once planted and cared for, begins to grow. What we often refer to as the 100% factor magically begins to appear. It is a phenomenon in our relationship that we have often discussed and marveled over.

It was a delight to discover it. As we came to know and trust that our basic core values matched, there was a relaxing of potential tensions and a sense of peace that almost immediately began to spread. Adding to that, the conscious actions of both of us honoring and respecting each other’s unique way of expressing these very values brought out a sense of wonder and pleasure unimaginable until experienced.

And that’s when the magic slowly began to appear. As we felt free to each be who we were without any pressure to be otherwise, without being expected to speak or act differently, a new element emerged. When we did not feel that the differences between us were a negative factor, when we didn’t look at each other with distrust or antagonism, we started instead to see and feel how we were the same. We began to see the vital and true matching.

A synchronicity began to be evident and a kind of living mutuality appeared. We started to see how well our match worked in day-to-day life. The more we honored each other in our separate identities, the more our togetherness grew in its expression.

Certainly there are times of disagreement (not argument or estrangement) on problems or decisions, but these are always resolved by following a process of finding what needs we have in common. This adventure of finding those mutual answers is both a pleasure and a reaffirmation.

So to summarize, it works for a number of reasons.

  • We each recognize the other person as an individual. They’re different to start with, and they have their own preferences, styles and ways of doing things.
  • We each trust the other. Trust grew over time as we came to see how the other person behaved under a variety of circumstances.
  • We believe people are equal and at the same time, people are different.
  • We see relationships as supportive, not competitive.
  • Because we know that we are aligned on core values, when there is a surface disagreement, we can more easily look within ourselves at what is irritating; we can more easily approach it without emotional energy.

You, too, can live this way if you so choose. A new rhythm arises and develops between you. It is not one that is discussed, listed, fought over or forced. Rather, it grows and flourishes in the fertile soil you have created. We have used the term magical to describe this because it seems statistically impossible, and yet it occurs. The areas of accord and smoothly fitting together to accomplish life’s tasks, both large and small, fill more and more of your life together. It happens subtly and quietly, yet is irrefutably palpable to both of you.

The consequence of treating each other in this way is an extraordinary sense of freedom, of being able to be who you are and live your life as you choose. The rewards far outweigh any initial self-restraint over trying to control the other person.

Take a leap of belief, enter this kind of being together, and you will be amazed that you haven’t always related this way. Take that peace and comfort, that experience of love out into the world and spread it to all your relationships.

Photo credit: Phil Mayes

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Successful Relationship Reading Corner


Books on shelfWow! It's our 250th Reading Corner this week. In our latest blog, we wrote about what we consider a key aspect of successful relationships: total acceptance. Here are three writers with their own slants on this important topic.

Accept Them as They Are "I admit it: Whether close to home or far away, I wish some people were different. Depending on who they are, I wish they'd stop doing things like leaving cabinet doors open in our kitchen, sending me spam emails, or turning a blind eye to global warming. And I wish they'd start doing things like being friendlier toward me or spending more money on public education. Even if it doesn't affect me directly, for their own sake I do wish that various people I care about were more energetic, less anxious, or less self-critical."

Deep Acceptance In Relationships "For securely attached adults, differences between them are generally not threatening to the relationship....For insecurely attached adults (on average one out of three, though people tend to hang out with like-kinds) it’s a whole different ballgame, and this is where things get way more complicated. Insecure attachment means that because of inconsistency in the parenting they received, these folks go through the world with an embodied presupposition of mistrust towards relationships"

LOVE means ACCEPTANCE "The truth is that love, in it’s purest expression, is completely unconditional. To have conditions means that there are requirements and standards that must be met in order for us to love someone. For example, it’s easy to love someone who loves us, who treats us with kindness and respect. But can we love someone who hates us, who would wish to do us harm?"

Spreading peace one relationship at a time
Phil and Maude
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