Present Tense

You can’t always get what you want…..

Acceptance.  What is it?  Why are we so obssessed with it?  “I just wish people would accept me for who I am”.  We’ve all whimpered that one, haven’t we?  Usually when we’re about 14 and someone made fun of us or snubbed us, which happens a lot in middle school.

It would be great if we outgrew our obsession with “acceptance” like we outgrew our size 5 jeans, but being human and all, we don’t.  We still crave it and in some cases unreasonably demand it.  Really all that we can hope for is an uneasy truce over the years with those we feel are ‘unaccepting’.

Last week my counselor had me make a list of things that I am powerless over.  Try it if you’d like and I suspect you’ll come to the same conclusion that I did.  You can’t control other people.  Period.  Demanding love, acceptance, understanding, cooperation, etc. from other people is a recipe for misery and victimhood.  It’s just not possible for any of us.

So, back to acceptance.  It’s a fact of life that we just can’t please everyone and doesn’t it seem as if those are the people we focus on?  There are a few people in my life who are accepting and encouraging in most every way.  However, if I screw up, which I inevitably do via bad choices, they let me know.  I love them dearly and tend to take them for granted because they let me, be me.

Then there are the folks in my circle who have expectations that I have determined are beyond my ability to fulfill.  I have spent way too much time agonizing and questioning myself, thanks to their lofty goals for my behavior and contributions to their lives.  I’m finally at a point where I can say that I’ve met and exceeded many of their expectations and if they must keep raising the bar, then that’s their issue, not mine.

They may never accept me wholly and that’s okay.  It’s probably better that I accept myself or keep working on it.

June 13, 2010 Posted by | Musings | , , , , | 3 Comments


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