Accepting people does not in itself mean agreeing with them, approving of them, waiving your own rights, or downplaying their impact upon you. You can still take appropriate actions to protect or support yourself or others. Or you can simply let people be. Either way, you accept the reality of the other person. You may not like it, you may not prefer it, you may feel sad or angry about it, but at a deeper level, you are at peace with it. That alone is a blessing. And sometimes, your shift to acceptance can help things get better.
Pick someone who is important to you. (You can practice this with multiple people) In your mind, out loud, or in writing, say things like these and see how you feel:
“I accept you completely. Countless causes, large and small, have led you to think, speak, and act the way you do. You are who you are. I let it be. You are a fact and I accept the facts in my life. You and I are part of a larger whole that is what it is, and I accept it too.”
See if you can tolerate what comes up for you when you soften into acceptance. Often we avoid accepting other people as a way to avoid the feelings we’d have if we opened to everything they are and everything they’re not.
Consider how you have gotten tangled up with this person, struggling to change them. When I do this myself, I become aware of my own rightness, positionality, judgements, pushiness, irritability, narrow views, hurts, longings, grievances or remorse. See if you can let go of some, if not all of these entanglements. Open to the easing, relief and peace that can come when you do.
Also consider how much you like it when you feel that another person accepts you completely. It’s a beautiful gift – and we can give it ourselves to others when we accept them. Imagine how it might improve your relationship with someone if that person felt you accepted him or her fully.
Acceptance is a gift that gives back.
From Psychology Today – Rick Hanson Ph.D. – Your Wise Brain.