Posted by: Dennie | November 7, 2013

The Struggle of Acceptance

Question mark


If someone conducts themselves in a manner of which I don’t approve, must I accept it?


If I’m smart I will.


I am struggling with this. And the harder I struggle, the deeper I get.


It’s like swimming against a riptide. If I fight to get back to shore, my chances of success are not good. The current to too strong for me. I’ll tire quickly, lose strength, and unless somebody gets there in time to rescue me, I might die.


But if I relax, and swim with the current, following the shoreline, I will eventually become free of the pull and swim back to safety. I know this is a fact because it’s happened to me. It was scary as hell.


So why do I struggle so mightily against the disagreeable  behavior of another?  Struggle against actions I would never engage in myself?


Question mark liberal


Am I judging? Possibly.


Am I jealous?  Perhaps.


However, lots of self-examination, prayer and lengthy discussions with someone of great knowledge and experience are helping me to understand that the resolution is  a simple matter of acceptance.


As alike as we humans can be, so can we be vastly different. How boring the world would be if that weren’t true. But it also makes for some challenging dilemmas for me. How am I supposed to accept behavior which I deem unacceptable? Accept actions which I never could do myself?


The key is to remember that they are they and I am me and we are vastly different.


I’ve found it necessary to dig deep to help me understand why it is that I’m struggling with this difference, and I’m beginning to understand–big surprise– that it has to do with things I learned during my childhood.


Let me explain.


Kids are really perceptive and observant. They naturally question.


An adult  makes a statement to a child. The kid intuitively knows  he’s being bullshat. And he calls the adult on it. The younger he is, and the more comfortable with the adult, the more likely he is to question. He questions the validity of the statement. Why? Because actions speak louder than words. And kids observe the actions of those close to them. Kids are intelligent.  When the action doesn’t agree with the statement, they know that someone is trying to pull the wool over their teeny little eyes.


So they question an untruthful statement, a glossed-over story, an invention. And they are told that they are wrong. Their perceptions are wrong. Their observations are incorrect.


Even though they are friggin’ spot-on.


Then what happens? The child might press the issue, but the adult insists the child is wrong, because of course, the child is a child, and doesn’t yet know the ways of the world. They are too young to understand.


(Remember that line?)


More bullshit.


The charade continues, and the child gets older, still questioning adult renditions. Slowly, something in the kid begins to shift and the while expression on their face says “Whaaaaaat? Again?” they begin to resign themselves to the fact that their point will not be taken, or validated. And they eventually stop asking.


Why do they stop asking when they know something is amiss?


They stop due to the continual denial of their observations. They simply give up. Or they learn to filter their questions, to make safe and generic inquiries.  And the sad outcome of all this? They begin to doubt themselves. They begin to distrust their intuition, their intelligence, their very worth as a person. They stop believing in themselves.  And  they start learning to communicate in ways which are acceptable to adults. All because they’ve been taught  that they are small, and  they are young, and therefore, they do not know.


The adults know. They know better.




Distortion, deception, fabrication, and  propaganda. Passed down to kids from adults they trust.


“Mommy doesn’t have a drinking problem.”


“We weren’t fighting.”


“Go to college or you won’t amount to anything.”


“Money is  important.”


“Money is necessary for a comfortable, happy life.”


“To have money, you must have an education.”


“Beauty equals brains.”


“Success brings happiness.”


This is the stuff that shapes kids that grow up  into adults like me who believe that these messages were correct.


They do wonders to screw us up.


We don’t give kids the credit they deserve. Don’t acknowledge their perceptions, their observations, their intelligence.Why? Maybe because we don’t want to recognize and give credence to their truth.


Maybe because we don’t want to look at ourselves.


I’m not saying that  everything adults do is wrong or harmful to kids. I think most mean well and do the best they can. Because it’s the best they know.


Because they learned it from other adults when they were kids.


What I am saying is that there’s a lot of un-learning to be done.


And so my struggle with acceptance comes from bringing my childhood beliefs into adulthood. Beliefs that are no longer necessarily true, and maybe, never were.


I’m struggling to believe in myself. To trust my intuition, even though everyone and everything around me says I’m wrong. I’m struggling to accept myself for who I am, and others for who they are, whether I agree with them or not. I’m struggling to accept the differences between myself and others, and to not allow myself to be affected or influenced by others’ actions, especially those which I  dispute.


I’m struggling to unlearn.




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