If you’re starting with this article, you may wish to read Part I to understand the context. In my last post, I identified the feelings of “yuck” we may feel when people ignore, mock or reject us. This may be based on personal features, traits, or preferences we have. That “yuck” feeling can be very hurtful.  This I compared to the “yuck” I felt towards asparagus when growing up.

In contrast to rejection, when we accept asparagus and are accept with tolerance and kindness, our whole world – inside and out – changes.

Extending the Principles of Acceptance to Friends and Family

The principle of acceptance is crucial for those closest and most intimately involved in our lives. Good family relationships and friendships must have a broad tone of kindness and acceptance to thrive.

In many ways, we are all people with different perspectives, points-of-view, preferences, and ideas about things.  No one sets out to be odd and eccentric. Like a computer, car engine, or home furnishings, the makeup and identity of each item’s parts are different, and as a whole complete each. So too, each person is unique, and their unique parts make up the whole.

Non-Acceptance Creates Confusion and Discord

The problem I often find is that one person judges the qualities and characteristics of others based on their own preferences and ideas. This is done as if everyone needs to be like me.

But we are all different. And if we ignore, mock, or reject others for their features, traits and opinions, we create hurt and disunity.

If we reject others – or they reject us – and disunity is created, then one or more things can occur:

  • One can impose and force a sense of “yuck” onto them (or they on to us),
  • The other might fight for their sense of value
  • They may become silent in parts of the relationship, not wishing or daring to risk being rejected
  • Or they may just leave the relationship altogether

One may at first be “yucky” asparagus, but lives and hearts matter. Treating people as if they’re outcasts because they’re different causes hurt on many levels.

My encouragement to others and now to you is this: accept each other and the unique features, traits, and ideas each person has. This affirmation, respect, encouragement can be transforming to you and your relationships

What to accept in the other? Everything! Accept each other’s feelings and thoughts, needs, dreams, and hopes.

Some Suggestions

Offering your “asparagus” to others close to you in ways and in topic areas you have been shy about. Try following this format:

  • Ask first for time and “grace” or immunity about something important to you
  • With their permission, share the thing that matters to you
  • Ask them to accept & think about it (they do not have to understand)
  • Thank them for receiving your “asparagus”

You may find that their “asparagus” is now something you like rather than dislike.

Christian counselor Dr. Douglas Frey believes in Biblical principles and bringing forth God’s grace in meetings and sessions. Call or email Douglas Frey Ph.D. (952-920-2789). He is a licensed Christian counselor serving individuals and families in Eden Prairie and nearby Chanhassen, Chaska, Shakopee, Minneapolis, Edina, Minnetonka and other Twin Cities Western Suburbs.