Someone makes a choice you simply do not understand. The consequences may or may not touch your life, involve you, affect you, bother you, upset you. But one way or another, you just cannot get your head around what they are basing their decision on. This lack of understanding is the part that makes accepting their choice so difficult.
What to do? Consider this two-part answer:
Part One: Understanding
- Take the view that:
- All people have the right to see life through their own eyes, the right to their own reality.
- Their reality will be based on experiences they have had in their life.
- These experiences will have formed THEIR beliefs and values.
- Accepting and thereby respecting their choice means you are not judging them.
- What gives us the right to judge someone else or to believe we know what is right for them? How presumptuous is that?!
- Once some of these points have been explored, you might be able to take a little step back from feeling like you have to understand (or approve of) their choice.
Part Two: Acceptance
- To truly accept means not to have any conditions attached to this acceptance. As mentioned above, all people have a right to their own reality, to see life through their own eyes.
- These lyrics come to mind: “If You Love Someone, Set Them Free.”
- Letting go of the conditions you attach is the same as setting them free. A few examples of conditions you might have are: what you believe is right, what you think life should be like, what you will lose if they do something you do not understand.
- Finding an open heart to look beyond yourself – THIS is setting someone free. Let them be who they are, follow their own path, be true to their own values. Love them for who, how and what they are, thereby respecting their choices. Helping yourself get to the place of being able to respect their choices is also setting YOURSELF free and gaining/holding onto your Personal Power.
In Other Words
True Love for your Neighbour will be translated into Courage and Strength. The more we develop love for others, the more confidence we will have in ourselves.
Each Individual is Master of His or Her Destiny: It is up to Each Person to Create the Causes of Their Happiness.
14th Dalai Lama