Updated: Dec 5, 2021
Acceptance. What does it mean to truly accept someone? In what ways do we show that we have done so? In what ways do we subconsciously show we have not? This is something that I think everyone has experienced or struggled with at some point in their lives.
I ask you this because I've noticed a trend in my own life when it comes to understanding and dealing with different types of people. Acceptance is something that is highly sought after and yet no one really understands what it means to be accepting of others. And karmic laws hath some fury here! You get what you give, right? If you want people to be accepting of you, you must also be accepting of them. Now mind you... there must be a balance of acceptance and boundaries. Not everyone is deserving of your time and energy. You must accept the right people and put boundaries on the ones that need to be kept at a distance.
Here's the thing though, you can't just say you accept someone and magically expect everyone to believe you. You have to show it by changing what you say about it thereafter. You can't say I accept and love you (but I'm going to continue shit talking about you to people behind your back and reminding you that I'm an idiot who doesn't understand how this actually works). If you truly accept someone, you don't feel the need to spread gossip about them. You don't feel the need to validate yourself by finding others with like-minded and misguided opinions to gang up on them. You don't need to go out of your way to remind people of your misunderstandings. You don't need to do any of these things. These are all actions of someone who doesn't get it yet. And their words are rendered entirely invalid by their actions (which includes choosing what to say and how to say it.) Choosing to speak is an action in and of itself.
Humble yourself: You can disagree with someone without telling them. But if you choose to start the conversation, don't get mad when it's had.
In times where communities and laws are changing, the struggle for acceptance between generations is at an all time high. (All puns intended.) Something I've been plagued with my whole life and still struggle to find common grounds for. You can be apart of an entire community who gets you, who rides the same waves, and still find a few old nut balls who feel the need to bring you down because 50 years ago...
I have found that it is very easy for individuals to talk, speak words, say the right things, but very few of them change their approach, their actions, and their reactions after claiming to have accepted your differences. What good is it to tell someone you love and accept them if you still hold against them what you don't understand? This is not acceptance. This is pride getting in the way of self-awareness and avoiding uncomfortable change. This is "I said I accept so I can say I do, but if I'm honest my words and actions still show that I haven't." You don't have to like everything a person believes, does, or works towards in their lives in order to love and accept them. But you do have to change how you approach and speak to them about your differences. There is a new line of respect that is created when two people agree to disagree and it often times gets ignored or forgotten.
Have you ever heard "I'm sorry BUT here's why you are wrong..." A coward's way of apologizing without having to come to any real understanding of themselves or the situation. To say the words "I'm sorry" without having to change their actions to follow suit or suggest they are capable of compromising or finding a resolution. I've had these words put in my face more times than I can count in my life only to find in the long run I wasn't wrong at all. Just sorely misunderstood and judged by misunderstandings, often times over some one else's actions and life experiences other than my own. For many of those encounters, I still have to accept that the words "I'm sorry" may never come.
My friends. THIS IS NOT ACCEPTANCE. This is a display of one's overly-proud inability to communicate with the intention of understanding. Because they don't really want to. It's not even about YOU at this point. Nobody has ever taught them critical thinking skills, possibly because it has never been necessary in their hand-out life or they've managed to survive within a group of people that keeps them comfortable in their own thoughts without having to consider change and adaptation to their environments. All change is bad. All change is evil. All things different and misunderstood should be shunned and scorned. By entering a conversation this way, by apologizing with pointing fingers, they are stunting their own abilities to ever reach an understanding in any relationship with another person. And will probably live the rest of their lives a confused, miserable, stressed-out mess. I refuse to be this way.
More often than not, when a person starts a conversation with me about something they disagree with, they often can't handle being disagreed with. And let's be clear. I LOVE TO ARGUE. I will argue with you for hours and still be your best friend the next day. Literally. It's my favorite thing. I can bullshit and philosophize all day. Please be prepared for this when you bring up controversial subjects with me. Or please don't start them.
However... this: "I'm messaging to say hello but I'm ending my introduction with something slightly slighted. And you can't react with any kind of response to my slightly slighted statement because I have to feel like I'm right. I'll just demonize you, making it worse for myself in my own mind and more difficult to be your friend should you choose to respond to it. THEN I'm going to tell you that you shouldn't feel the way I just made you feel about it because that means I have to understand and come to terms with myself." This bullshit needs to stop. You get what you give, right? We said that already? Don't throw your shit at people and get mad when they throw shit back. Stop. Throwing. Shit. Unless. You. Can. Handle. More. Shit.
My life has been stocked full of clowns who instigate arguments and then play victim. Way too many. And I'm tired of it. I grew up in it. I've dealt with too much of it to be comfortable with it myself. I'm done ACCEPTING it. There is such thing as accepting too much, and this is where boundaries come in to play. The fact is, if you wanted to say hello, you would. You don't HAVE to end your introductions with a reminder that you don't agree with my lifestyle and choices, that you judge, that I am thought of as slightly lesser than I am simply because we have different life experiences and understandings. That last part doesn't even need to be there. I don't go out of my way to tell people how stubborn, old, rude, insecure, outdated or uneducated they are for disagreeing with ME. I might throw an article your way or offer an opportunity to find more information and learn more on your own. But I certainly wont hold it against you for disagreeing and continuously cross that forgotten line when I speak with you in the future. If acceptance were truly understood, these types of statements would not take place at all. Say hello and LET GO. There needn't be anything else. If you don't feel the need to properly show acceptance when speaking to me, I don't feel the need to properly accept your bullshit just because you felt like throwing some today. I'm a bullshit champion. And quite frankly, I'm done with it. Be nice or get out. See previous blog entry.
The worst part is that when you take the research and facts and line them all up, the people judging you for your vices are usually even worse off with their own. What THEY need to survive (a buffet of addictive prescription drugs, cigarettes, a case of beer a day, fast food full of artery clogging fats and sugar loaded soda, church, NO exercise plan, the fucking cell phone...) only works for THEM. To assume what works for you should be the resolution for everybody else on the planet full of entirely different people... get out of here with that shit. That don't make no fucking sense. Unless you yourself are in better health than the person you judge, you probably shouldn't say jack about what they choose to put in their body... There are hundreds of different religions, diets, types of people, cultures, practices, aside from your own that create well-rounded and happy people. Stop judging, pushing, prodding, poking, assuming, jumping to conclusions, and getting offended by things that don't have anything to do with you. Stop acting like you are BETTER than any other person on this planet. It's gross. Live and let live. And LET GO. Are you really concerned about my well-being or are you just concerned about being right?
I've found myself walking a thin line lately. Somewhere between accepting differences/ learning to let go of bullshit myself and making the active decision to stop allowing bullshit into my life altogether so I don't have any.
"Words have the POWER to both heal and destroy." Alright. I could rip this one apart piece by piece but I think this article does a good enough job on it's own. Make sure the words you are using to start conversations match your intentions. Make sure you aren't full of your own shit before you start throwing it at others. You will NEVER see me pop into your inbox to tell you the things I don't agree with or don't like about you or someone else. I won't even gently remind you. I won't find a clever way to sneak it into the conversation and make you feel had because I need to feel right. (Unless I'm up for the debate and you started it). You can't say you agree with the rights that others should have while at the same time ridiculing them for utilizing and fighting for them. That says more about you than it does the person you throw it at. And there's no need for it. The veil has been lifted. I am no longer blind to the bullshit.
Try something for me. Go into your phone and look at the last difficult conversation you had with somebody. Put everything aside and just look at the words that YOU used individually. Which topics are difficult for you to discuss? Were you the first to bring it up? Did you instigate the conversation knowing well ahead of time of it's depths? Did you already agree to disagree? Are you kicking rocks at an old conversation that deserves more respect and credibility? Did you respond in a way that you would accept as a response yourself? Are you open? Honestly, though?
Before you tell someone about themselves, before you voice any kind of opinion about them to others, before you start any conversation regarding another person, make sure that you are a saint yourself. It is not your job to understand anybody other than yourself. You couldn't possibly anyways. You can't live every second of another person's life for them. And you can't possibly expect others to truly understand YOU. We can ONLY speak from our own individual experiences. If you feel misunderstood, perhaps you need to change the way you present yourself. It's all we have to know you by.
If you throw bullshit my way, you can expect to get it back.
And rightfully so. You could have just said hello.