In media interviews for The Gifts of Acceptance I am often asked, “what are the keys to practicing acceptance?”
When I say “humility” is an important key, some interviewers ask me to explain further because the link between humility and acceptance may not seem readily apparent.
Yet, it’s a very direct one.
Simply put, in order to accept people as they are, we need to be humble. Within the context of acceptance, that means we must recognize and accept that:
- We truly don’t know what’s best for others–particularly our loved ones, children, and family. (We are not so omniscient, as many of us are prone to believe!)
- Our way is not the only way. It’s just a way, nothing more. There are multiple paths to an acceptable destination.
- What works well for us doesn’t mean that it will work well for others. Everyone is unique and responds to events and challenges differently.
- Everyone has the right to determine (and choose) what’s best for them, and we should respect and honor their choices as long as they don’t harm us or those close to us.
- We should be open-minded and non-judgmental. (Probably the most challenging aspect of humility)
Being humble also means that we shouldn’t judge, criticize, or press our views on others, unless asked. Nor should we constantly try to control or change people, no matter how much we think it will benefit them.
Admittedly, it’s much easier to understand humility than to practice it. As a former compulsive controller, it’s been a life long challenge for me to refrain from telling others, particularly those closest to me, what I think they should do or not do, or how they should be.
It’s all too easy to justify our intrusions as acts of love, care, and concern. However, experience has proven to me time again that I risk doing more harm than good—to others and myself—when I fail to be humble.
In the meantime, remember to
Let It Go—and Accept “What Is!”
…and Let’s Help Make Acceptance Go Viral!
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