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Acceptance of the People in Our Lives December 16, 2009

Posted by Living Abundance in Uncategorized.
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As I make the journey down the road of self discovery and personal development, I’ve made a lot of insights into what works for me, what makes me happy and what doesn’t. These resolutions become so concrete, so clear and precise, that it becomes difficult for me to deal with people who are the opposite.
For me this issue comes up with positivity. I try to be a positive person, think positive thoughts, speak about positive things, and surround myself with positivity. I come across people who aren’t negative per se, but do talk about a lot of negative things when I am around them. It is so easy for me to judge them as negative and want to tell them to change but I don’t. Granted, it does make me stop and think that maybe I should find more positive friends, but right now I think it is best to be grateful for their friendship and realize the thing we do have in common if it isn’t a positive outlook on life.
The problem of judging and wanting to change others is an issue that other people I’ve talked to struggle with to. What do we do about people in our lives that act in ways that we don’t agree with?
First of all, if people aren’t hurting you directly, you don’t need to change them. Certainly, if people are acting in ways that I perceive will be harming me, I certainly hope I would be able to find the courage to speak up for myself in a loving, calm and caring way.
However, if people are simply acting in a way that has no real impact on me and it is just something I don’t agree with, I certainly try to keep quiet.
It is easy to judge people and say, “You shouldn’t do this; it makes me unhappy when I do it, and it should make you unhappy to do it, too.”
But this is the opposite of compassion and understanding. Compassion means that you are able to understand where this person is coming from and why they do what they do.
Instead of judging someone, try to understand what it is like for them. Why do they do the thing they do? Do they perceive it as harming anyone? Do they perceive it as a problem? Is it just something they learned and they haven’t learned the opposite? Is it just something that they are unable to have the skills at this point n time to realize there is a different way.
We cannot change the people in our lives. We cannot tell people what to do because unless they are able to open their eyes and see it for themselves, they will never truly hear what we are saying. The same goes for our intentions of telling people how to live: if we tell them with the intention of harming, with a bad intention, with a need to have things go our way and not really have another person’s interests in mind, they will not hear us. They will tune out what we have to say and we are wasting our breath. If we tell people what we think out of caring and compassion, but not attaching to what we perceive as right, we are only sharing our OWN experience and offering them the opportunity to try and see it our way, then they may have the chance to listen. But if people are not in a time in their life where they are able to really stop and look at what they do and question why they do it, our words will have no impact.
It is also crucial to remember personality. I truly recommend reading up on personality in order to realize that people just have different energies and different ways of attracting and expressing this energy, these are different ways of being. They are inherent to people, they are born with their personalities, and there is no way to change them.
Buddhism talks about acceptance and I think this is a key idea. Accept that the people in your life are the way they are. You will have so much more freedom as a result! This will save you so much mental energy that you could be using more productively!