Sunday, January 27, 2013

Acceptance

In Chris Maxwell's book, Pause, he asks us to look in the mirror and accept the person looking back and to look through our neighborhoods and accept the people nearby.


Acceptance...this is both easy and difficult for me.

When I decided to go back to school and get my degree, I wondered if I'd be accepted. I chose Georgia State University in downtown Atlanta not just because it offered a degree in public relations but because of the diversity the school offered.

Not everyone looked, thought or acted like I did. Nor did they look, think or act like everyone else I'd ever known. I was fascinated, though at times a little scared and insecure. But I soon learned that it was easy to accept them. They made it easy. They openly accepted me.

I made friends easily and accepted into my social circle people of different faiths, ideologies, orientations and cultures. They made me a better person. I hope they can say the same about me.

Accepting others nearby is the easier one. Accepting the person in the mirror...now that's a bit of a challenge.

I read a while back that part of integrity is acceptance. Acceptance of both the good and the not-so good about ourselves. When we accept all of who we are, we are integrated. We have integrity. Integrity is not a lofty ideal. It is...realness.

In general, I like who I am. But I have difficulty accepting some things about myself. I don't particularly care for the way I look. I get easily discouraged when it comes to my weight. I learned at a young age to associate happiness and success with thinness. That thinking has messed me up on many occasions. There are some things I need to change and other things I need to accept.

I don't like my relationship with God right now. My faith is on a roller coaster complete with ups, downs and loops. It's hard to trust when all is silent, when the doors are closed, when the darkness surrounds. I'm fighting to trust and fighting to believe. I'm fighting to accept. To help, I have a picture on my Facebook page that reminds me not to confuse God's patience with his absence.

Chris reminds me in his chapter about acceptance that I need to accept and experience life and all its abundances. And that reminds me of the Serenity Prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. 

Chris Maxwell's book Pause

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