Judgment seems to be a common characteristic trait of human beings. We judge those whom we know and even those whom we do not know. And usually within mere moments of meeting a person, we have “sized them up.” We will have made a determination about that person’s intellectual ability, character, integrity, trustworthiness, and even how interesting we deem the person to be. Over time, these judgments only continue to grow.
A person with an abundance of secrets is often in search of a safe place where he may be himself. He will want to find a place to express himself, to lighten himself of the burden – the burden that is keeping secrets. A safe place to one with secrets is a place of acceptance. He is embraced for who he is, and not for what he has or what he does. A man wants to be accepted as an individual. He wants his value and worth as a human being to be appreciated.
The act of accepting is the opposite of judging. Indeed, accepting another is a form of love. Learning to accept a person can be tricky when you are emotionally involved with the other person, but the benefits to be gained from learning to accept the loved ones in our lives can be well worth the effort.
The operative term here is “can be,” and that is because there are no guarantees. No one can predict how another person will respond in any given situation, or even how we, ourselves, will respond in turn.
Learning to put one’s own agenda aside and to focus on someone else’s needs takes some effort. Doing so also requires excellent listening skills and patience. Patience is important because practicing acceptance is not something that is done just once. The act of accepting another for whom he is is a way of being. It is a way of life.
If you wish to invest in the life of someone that you know is struggling with addiction, acceptance is important.
However, that does not mean that you become a welcome mat for whatever the other person wishes to do to you. It does, however, mean accepting the person for who he is, and accepting the situation for what it is.
Acceptance is active. And once you acknowledge and embrace that which is, you are in an empowered position. This is true for both the addict on a journey to recovery, as well as for the person supporting the individual. What will you choose to do in this moment? The decision is yours and yours alone.
That is the power of acceptance.