I love this time of year. Despite the cold weather here in Toronto, there’s always some extra warmth in the air around the Holidays. We get to come together with those we love and spend quality time. It’s an opportunity to show the people in our lives how we feel about them, to take a look at all the things we have to be thankful for and of course, there’s a lot of gift giving.
As much as I enjoy picking out a juicy gift for someone I love, wrapping it up and watching their delight as they open it (hopefully!), I’ve come to realize that there’s another kind of gift that warms the heart even more and that is ACCEPTANCE. Some of you might have been thinking I was gonna say unconditional love, gratitude, forgiveness or even chocolate but I believe the greatest gift we can give another is to accept them exactly as they are.
The beauty of acceptance is that it encompasses all the other sentiments I mentioned, except the chocolate! When we truly accept someone with all their flaws and quirks, that is when we are able to love them unconditionally. When we fully accept them and embrace all their positive attributes, their uniqueness and their gifts, we can receive them with gratitude and appreciation. And when we can accept the growth that comes from sharing experiences both good and bad, we can forgive the past and embrace wherever we are together in the present.
Being with family and those closest to us is an especially good opportunity to practice acceptance. Many of us know our nearest and dearest better than anyone else, we have a lifetime of history together and it’s easy to focus on what we don’t like or what isn’t working in those relationships. Anyone who’s ever tried will tell you that you can’t change anyone so investing our energy in resisting the things we don’t like isn’t worth it. What we can change is our approach and our focus from one of resistance to acceptance.
Sometimes we may even be coming from a place of love and a desire to share something we’ve learned or discovered on our own path with those we care about because we want to help them. But as it has been said, each person must walk the path and learn life’s lessons themselves. In other words, we can’t help anyone who doesn’t want to be helped but we can shower them with love and acceptance until they want to help themselves.
And while we’re busy spreading holiday cheer and accepting all those around us, let us not forget about ourselves. That means you. Yes YOU. There’s nobody else like you and YOU are amazing just the way you are. If you want to give me a gift this year you can do me a big favor and go to the mirror RIGHT NOW, look at the beautiful reflection you see and say: “I love you. You are mine and I accept you just the way you are. You’re the shizzle!“
I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who reads these blogs, the amazing TDL community, and of course, Mastin, without whom none of this would be possible, for accepting me as I am and receiving my writing and musings with such open arms and love. Sending out big love to you all and wishing you all the best over the holidays!
Accepting you as you are,
Written for The Daily Love (Dec. 26th, 2011)