from "Slow Down: Learning to Accept Others as They Are,"
Positively Present blog
used with permission
- Watch your thoughts.Think about what you're thinking about. I often think things about other people, judging them, without even realizing it. I'm going to work on paying more attention to my thoughts and do my best to push them in a non-judgmental, more accepting direction.
- Look for the positive.Not accepting others is a result of seeing the negative in them. Instead of focusing on why someone is different, I'm going to focus on what's good about that person and his/her choices and actions. My way is not always the best one.
- Avoid right/wrong dichotomies.It's very tempting to see the world in black and white with a right and wrong way to do things, but that's just not how it is. Things don't have to be right or wrong if I choose to accept them as they are. I'm going to stop labeling my way as "right."
- Stop judging yourself.Our judgments of others are often a result of our personal criticisms. If I stop putting pressure on myself to do things the "right" way, I'll also stop putting pressure on others as well. Not judging myself or others is a crucial step to acceptance.
- Focus on the now.A lack of acceptance can generate from comparing things to the past. I'm not going to think about what happened before and try to live accordingly; I'm going to think about now. Comparing things to the past always hinders an acceptance of what is.
- Reverse the situation.I ask myself: What if someone were judging me and not accepting me? How would I feel? I'll keep these questions in mind the next time I'm not accepting others. I will imagine someone constantly telling me to slow down (and how annoying that would be!).
Clearly I have a lot of work to do when it comes to accepting others – especially those closest to me. It's so easy to abstractly think of yourself as an accepting person, but when it comes to your daily interactions, really pay attention to them and ask yourself if you are accepting others as they are. Are you really accepting them? Are you really not thinking your way of doing things is the best way? If you find that you're not as accepting of others as you'd like to be, think about the six ideas above and see if they don't help you to be a more accepting, more loving person. And remember: the only way to live a positive and present life is to accept what is, something you certainly can't do if you don't accept others for who they are.