How Your Acceptance Needs to Go Beyond the Words
MAUDE: What are the qualities that promote and sustain peaceful relationships? Phil and I have written about many of them over the years here. Yet, the question remains, how can we bring them into practice in our daily lives and all our relationships? Last week, we discussed honoring and respecting the separate and unique nature of each person, and how this opens a window onto harmony and an experience of peace within and without.
Hand in hand with this practice comes the way of acceptance, non-judgment and the joyful appreciation of what others have to say and how they express it. I have been moving closer to this attitude of embracing others as my first response, rather than the initial threat assessment response that we all have to a greater or lesser degree.
The more my heart is filled with love and the less that fear resides there, even in a subconscious form, the easier this becomes. When I can interact with an open listening mind, I most often find charming and delightful variations on the same theme; a desire for goodness, a wish to be accepted and acknowledged, wanting to be liked, and a drive to find purpose, be of service and to contribute to others. Although dressed up in many different outfits, I find the same yearnings over and over.
Last night Phil and I attended a presentation given by a woman I have come to highly respect and love. She discussed many fascinating elements of her own personal journey. I found myself comfortable with what she shared, at the same time hearing her saying it in different words than I would. It was such a profound experience to find myself sitting there being totally receptive and able to hear her and the content of her deep sharing, offered in such a different context and yet containing the same truths at base.
When she spoke of feeling the spirit of a person and of how different that was from relating to the more material aspects of each other, it rang a bell for me. It is when we can find this very spirit connection, and see the reality of a person beyond all the peccadilloes and differences, that we can feel that joy of encountering beauty and harmony. When we connect with the essence of a person and not just their growing, changing, struggling persona, we find peace and joy waiting.Listen to another person with your whole body #quote #relationships Click To Tweet
PHIL: We attended a talk by a friend of ours about her intuitive process of working with people. Her cosmology differs from mine, but I know her to be a very direct, honest and open person, and I tried to listen with my whole body, to pay attention to her source and not to get hung up on the words she was using to talk about it, not try to reconcile them with the words I use to describe my cosmology. I saw her as being a healing mirror, as working in a way that I could never do.
I think that everybody is inspired by the same energy, spirit, force, understanding, whatever word you like. They express it in different ways, according to their persona, culture and life experience, and people resonate to the degree that the words match their own cosmology, but it’s the same thing.
The source is such a direct experience, but it is an interior one. For much of our experience, we can point and use words like tree, running and grief, but for this interior experience, we can only invent words and use metaphors.
So that is what I was trying to absorb as our friend spoke, and I surprised myself by being able to do this, as I love the precision of words. Afterwards, I reflected on the experience and realized it to be a form of total acceptance, the element in our relationship that is so powerful, and I imagined what it would be like if people could offer that same kind of acceptance to everybody they met, and if I can even do the same myself.
That’s difficult, because some people do things that I cannot accept because they go against how I believe we should treat each other. This is such a challenge for me because I cannot simply let the actions slide, yet I know that hatred of others is not the way I want to be. It is difficult, but what choice do I have? (This is in some ways theoretical because these are not people I know in my life, but the people “out there” that I only read about.)
The talk by our friend was a great lesson for me in what it feels like to open up to differences. This is a continuation of what we wrote about last week on differences, and the feeling of accepting them gave me a wonderful sense of lightness.
Photo credit: Maude Mayes
Photo note: Neighborhood funny-face tree
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