On Accepting Others

Do we see people for who they really are? Or do we view them though spectacles tinted with our own interpretations and expectations? Do we take people for granted because we are domesticated by a sense of familiarity we have with them? We all do. I guess that is why counsellors are called for.

It is a universal need to haves others, especially those we care about, acknowledge and accept us. I have had clients share their struggle to feel accepted by their loved ones. It is a sad joke that we sometimes find ourselves more connected to an animal, an activity or a song than to our other halves.


Just as this serves as a reminder to you, it is one for me too – to see, hear, and feel other people just as they are, and to trust and value the sincerity of their words and deeds.


“I don’t feel that way, therefore you don’t either.”


That, I am afraid, is ego, my friend.


We are not clones of one another. We have different values, belief systems, backgrounds, cultures, preferences and ways of thinking. How is it okay for us to allow strangers to be different but not see our loved ones as unique individuals? They are not us, and it is not fair for us to expect them to be like us. I am not saying that it is impossible to find somebody similar to us; what I am trying to relay is that we are all different – and that is okay.


Through that Looking-Glass


If we wipe away all our assumptions, biases and interpretations from our looking-glass, we can learn to see people for who they really are. We can catch ourselves when we impose our preferences, wants and needs on others. Yes, I am sure we all mean well, but when it is uncalled for, we risk making others feel unaccepted and misunderstood.


Asking Doesn’t Make You Look Bad


It is okay to not know. It takes effort and humility to continue to know someone, even if you ‘have known' them for ages. It is like reading a same book over and over again and rediscovering new lines and ideas that you did not see or appreciate before. Nothing truly stays the same. We could ask to clarify, reassure and communicate. Because we care, and they matter. Yes?


Use a BIGGER Looking-Glass


We should not look for what we want to see. When we do, we inadvertently we limit our looking-glass if we focus on only the bad. We must widen the scope and keep our minds open to that which our eyes may miss.


“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”


- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince





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