What do we all crave the most? To be loved and accepted for who we are. It is just that simple. Yet so few of us even allow ourselves to have that expectation. Somewhere down the line in our childhood we were showed that we have to be a certain way in order to be loved and accepted. Perhaps we had to swallow our feelings, stop showing affection, ‘man up’, ‘cheer up’, be quiet… Where our basic safety was threatened, we learned to lie and to manipulate in order to survive. These coping mechanisms are so deeply ingrained in us that they become our highway to getting our needs met.
We grew up but the craving hasn’t changed – we are desperate to be loved and accepted for who we truly are, to be able to relax in another’s presence. Me, you, everybody we know has this craving. What can we do with this knowledge? There is a choice here. We can either wait until somebody drops their armour down (essentially, becomes perfect) in order to start loving and accepting them fully or we can start loving and accepting them now with all their imperfections. If we look at the recovery journeys of most addicts, we’ll find out that their lives were turned around just because somebody truly believed in them, accepted them with the addiction, didn’t dehumanise them for their weakness, didn’t make the identity for them based on the addiction. The existence of such support is actually a key factor in recovery. One person is enough to facilitate the change, whether it is an addiction psychologist, a coach or an aunt, who saw them beyond the addiction, who listened to them and showed them that they are valued for who they are fully and completely.
“We’re all just walking each other home” – Ram Dass
According to A Course in Miracles, to give and to receive are one in truth. This means that we only get to keep what we give. When we blame (doesn’t matter how ‘right’ we are and how many people agree with us), we feel guilty – we have an emotional hangover. Blame, anger, rejection will never bring us peace and joy. We give peace and joy in order to have it.
On this occasion, the mentioned principle in the Course would mean we need to start loving and accepting those closest to us fully for who they are, stop making our love conditional, start rejecting bad behaviour, not the people. When we give the unconditional love and acceptance to others and allow them to truly relax in our presence, we ultimately extend it to ourselves. The notion of us needing to love ourselves first so that then we can love others is truly ridiculous, because our understanding and perception of ourselves from a very early age is formed through the interactions with other people. I hear you, it is incredibly difficult to see the innocence in people who hurt us but it is a choice. A choice to either dwell in bitterness or to embark on a journey to forgiveness. When we choose the latter, the heavy burden is lifted off our shoulders and the whole universe starts conspiring to help us. Forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean staying in the company of the people who hurt us, it means regaining our peace and, if we need to, leaving with love and grace.
When we choose to love and accept others for who they are fully and completely, we no longer have to work so hard on healing our own wounds. They are addressed in the process as we raise our awareness, commit to being the light/the blessing onto the world and surrender to the inner guidance. We truly start seeing that everyone we meet acts as a mirror to reflect either our own light or our own darkness.
Our happiness directly depends on the choice we make, whether to be judges, prosecutors or the healers in the world.