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Acceptance of Differences Sets Us Free

Have you ever had a hard time accepting someone’s flaws or accepting someone’s past? What about accepting your partner’s history, or being accepted yourself as an individual?

Everyone is different. We each have different personalities, beliefs, cultures, etc. And learning to get along with each other is a journey.

Multicultural women sitting together on an orange couch.

It's hard to accept other people when we focus on the differences.
It takes one of each of us.

But why do people have such hard time accepting differences?

Is a lack of acceptance due to feeling threatened by other peoples’ differences?

Could this struggle be a result of our own personal criticisms, or of living our present life with wrong dichotomies?

There are many reasons why people have such a hard time accepting everyone else. But learning to accept differences in our daily interactions makes life so much easier and more enjoyable for everyone.

Imagine not being bothered by your partner’s flaws. Or what it would be like if people judged each other less harshly on social media.

Learning the importance of acceptance would improve the mental health of everyone. If we could let go of the things that bother us and cause friction in our relationships we could all live freer, more peaceful lives.

But What Does “Acceptance” Mean Exactly?

Let’s break down the meaning of acceptance to make the reason that it matters so much a bit easier to see.

The dictionary defines acceptance as, “the action of consenting to receive or undertake something offered.”

Life offers us all kinds of situations, people, and material things to use or enjoy or experience as we journey through life.

And every time, we have the choice to either accept what’s being offered, or reject it. The other options are to try to change it, or eliminate it from our lives completely. If we decide that it’s worth giving it a shot, then how do we allow it be whatever it is in our life and enjoy the changes or challenges that it may bring?

Woman sitting on closet floor with too many pairs of shoes to choose from.
Being able to put yourself in their shoes is the key to accepting those around you.

However, sometimes deciding to accept something is easier said than done. Sometimes, we get stuck with something that we do not like, but must endure anyway.

And here’s where the real power of acceptance comes in to play: you can choose to accept whatever it is anyway.

Even if you don’t like it. Even if you’d rather change or eliminate it.

And when your choices are between resistance and going with the flow, choose to let it be.

Life happens on life’s terms. There is only so much control that we have over our own life circumstances.

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

-Elbert Hubbard
A tall glass of lemonade surrounded by citrus fruits. A shift in perspective can make it easier to accept other people
Ahh! A shift in perspective can be so very refreshing.

So maybe it’s time to give up the fight, and choose to accept whatever the universe is throwing at us. If you aren’t seeing too many red flags or deal breakers, save your energy and try welcoming it instead.

What Can Help Us Accept Each Other?

  • Watch your thoughts. When learning how to practice acceptance of others, it’s helpful to take a moment to check in with ourselves about the content and quality of our thoughts. Focusing on what we don’t like about someone else, or how they are different from us (even in the back of our minds), does not improve the chances that we will be able to accept them. If this happens, it’s best to redirect our thoughts to something else that creates a more accepting environment in our minds.
  • Focus on the positive. Is there anything that is likable about this person? Try to find one thing that is respectable or interesting about them. If nothing comes to mind, keep looking.
    There is always something good in every situation. Learning how to find that kind of resilient positivity is the only way to live.
  • Avoid black and white thinking. When an opinion is formed about something or someone, it can be an all or nothing affair. Try looking for the grey area. If we are careful not to exaggerate the differences so much, sometimes we realize that we are more alike than it seemed at first.
Black & white hands touch fingers on a black & white background represents why people have such a hard time accepting other people.
The best parts of life happen in the gray areas.

The next time someone or something new comes up, give it a chance. See it as an opportunity to practice the above strategies. Having an easier time accepting other people and things makers the world a much more inviting and enjoyable place.

If these ideas work for you, please let us know! Comment below, and like & share this articles with anyone else who may benefit from them.

Here are some more helpful articles:

How Do You Find Harmony and Balance in Life?

What is the Meaning of Spiritual Peace?

Do Old Souls Have Harder Lives?

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