STONE THIRTEEN CONTINUED
Love: I learn to deepen my ability to love when I learn to tolerate, accept, embrace, and forgive. I choose to employ these attributes to my spiritual walk, to my personal relationships, and to my world view.
Instruction: Learn to accept.
Acceptance is a second way to put love into action. This begins when we defend the child being bullied, but we also accept that the bully is also hurting and is crying out for love — not necessarily in a way that will bring the results that he or she wants, but it is still a cry for love and attention. This acceptance extends to individuals that society might deem less desirable, less worthy, and unlovable. It extends to those who are among the elite, the privileged, and the upper class. Acceptance also reaches out to those whose religious beliefs differ from ours. Tolerance and acceptance work together to help us bridge the distance between religions that seem so far apart that each is willing to kill and be killed in honor of their God and their religion. Love is complex and made up of many qualities, but love that excludes, dehumanizes, destroys or bullies others is not pure love and may not be love at all.
Acceptance doesn’t equate to approval. We can tolerate a religion or a person that is different, we can accept them as humans worthy of love, and we can accept religions that we might not agree with, but that does not mean we have to approve of their teachings or their behavior. Love accepts and tolerates, because it values the person or, in the case of religions, the people who support those religions, but we don’t have to agree, accept as our own, or be bullied by them to believe what they believe or act the way they think we should act. We accept individuals, because we are able to see ourselves in them. Had we lived the life they lived or been raised the way they were raised, we, more than likely, would believe and act the way they do. Tolerance and acceptance become easier when we put ourselves inside their shoes, their minds, and their hearts, knowing that we might seem just as unlovable to them as they once were to us. Acceptance is another step in the right direction of getting along with and loving all people.
Today’s Assignment is to consider your acceptance level. You don’t have to approve everything you hear and see, but you are called upon to love and accept people as divine creations worthy of love in spite of their behavior. This is true for all of us. Learning to tolerate, accept, and love yourself can be challenging for many people. Do you tolerate, accept, and love yourself, and how can you improve in this area?
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Our purpose is to help individuals to heal who have been injured by religion or the religious. We welcome your comments and questions.