Monday, November 15, 2010

Meditation on Acceptance

My husband and I've made some changes to our lives during the last decade, as our thinking and philosophy of life has broadened and gone in a not-so-popular direction. It hasn't always been received easily with friends or relatives, and understandably so. People aren't readily comfortable with the unfamiliar. It takes a while to get used to. While it's not always easy for them, it's not always easy for us as well.

It's not easy following a less-sought-after path. It's definitely not the path of least resistance, because we're not "going with the flow." But it's the path God has called us to and we find peace and rest in it.

It's not the path for everyone, and that's okay. We don't try to make others go the way we have chosen. We try to accept them where they are and with the choices they've made. They don't need to agree with us, or we with them -- but we do need to accept them, and hope they do us. But that's not always so. Sometimes it's lonely.

But I haven't always been the most accepting, either, and definitely have room to grow. It brings back to mind a quote that I've shared before, "We teach best what we most need to learn." (The quote is by the author that wrote Jonathan Livingston Seagull.)

I guess the older we get, the more we realize how much we don't know. We realize how we don't need to convince everyone to walk as we walk. How we're not as right as we sometimes think. Humility. I guess you could say that non-acceptance is a form of pride, no? A thought to ponder.

Sometimes people aren't accepting by accusing others of being legalistic. I was talking to a brother and he said someone accused him of being legalistic, although this brother was accepting of his friend. He was following the path for his family that God had called him to. He didn't require others to have the same convictions.

The brother being accused said something like, "Well, have I imposed my ways upon you?" The answer was no. He made the point that it was actually the accuser being legalistic, in that by accusing him of being legalistic, he was implying that his friend should change to be more "normal" like him. The friend/accuser was the one that had a problem with the way this brother lived, not the other way around. Maybe the friend felt threatened that this brother wasn't following the status-quo. The friend then agreed with the brother, and the friendship probably grew to a new level because of the humbleness and acceptance displayed by the brother.

Photo by Drew
Anyway, we appreciate the rich variety which makes life interesting, and realize how boring life would be if we were all alike, and we learn from each other. This is acceptance. Not mere tolerance, but true acceptance, is what we desire -- to give acceptance as well as to receive acceptance.

I'll end with one my favorite quotes penned by Henry David Thoreau:

"If a man loses pace with his companions,
perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.
Let him step to the music which he hears,
however measured, or far away."

Photos by Jimi Ann, except where noted.

May we give each other liberty to listen to the drummer each is hearing. And love each other unconditionally while we're at it.

The gift of Acceptance. Easy to receive, but difficult to give.

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

I'm very grateful today for the Acceptance we've come to appreciate so much. It's coming along and we don't feel as alienated as we used to. Stop over at Garden of Learning where Brenda is challenging us to a Gratitude Challenge for the month of November.

I'd love to hear any comments you have. Your thoughts and ideas bring fresh perspective and are inspiring to me. I'll try to be accepting of all! :)


Heidi... said...

Jimi Ann~ I AM so glad you posted this one instead today! Amazing... simply an amazing perspective on a lonely path. Over the years we have taken the path less traveled and rather than find gratitude in it, I've often complained to my LORD about it. Thanks for sharing your example in gratitude, friend!

Our Village is a Little Different said...

This is a very nice post. "To thine own self be true." The rewards aren't always obvious, but they are great.

Guiding Light said...

LOVE this post! I feel as if I can definately relate. Thank you so much for sharing! I am now following your blog too. Blessings!

Life with Kaishon said...

I love that we are all different and can learn from one another. Thank you so much for joining your post at Tuesdays Around the World. It was nice to learn from you. very, very nice!

Maddy said...

Variety is the spice of life! And at the end of the day, you have to live your best life! Thanks for sharing your very honest post with our Communal Global community :)

Anonymous said...

I love all the fall leaf colors in the picture of the swing and the path! Fall colors are so beautiful!
~ A. F. M.