Over the years, I have embraced many practical ideas. These have been often shared in office, classroom, and seminar settings over the years. I thought I’d share them with you, and I hope you find them useful.
Part I: The Letter A and the Principle of Acceptance
“Yuck to asparagus”
Let me begin with the lowly and lonely vegetable called asparagus. This misunderstood vegetable has been the object of rejection and bad jokes for years. The word “YUCK” has been used countless times to describe it, along with its garden cousins, peas, beans, and spinach.
I was one of the rejecters of this vegetable-that is, until the day I tried it. Now I am a fan and will even ask for asparagus whenever I can.
The key was to set aside my uninformed opinion and dare myself to try something new.
And what a nice surprise it was. My family could not have imagined that this child who hated most vegetables would grow up to like almost all of them.
Have you ever felt like a rejected piece of green vegetable?
When you’re rejected by others, you can feel just like that poor asparagus. If people aren’t interested, we’re like a yucky vegetable, lonely on a plate.
For example, we may have shared our hearts, our ideas, our hopes and our successes with someone … and they say “So?” or say react with a “Yuck.”
How do you feel? Isn’t his hurtful, discouraging and even embarrassing. But also, doesn’t that sense of “yucky” shame demoralize and causes us to shrink back at times?
How about instead of saying “Yuck”, we say “That’s great!”
Saying “that’s great” is both affirming and encouraging. It acknowledges and accepts us for who we are.
I know that in comparison to others, our efforts can appear less impressive and fall short, but given a moment of acceptance our world changes. Maybe not for pride’s sake, but for validation and recognition.
The Bible talks about acceptance, not “Yuck”
God never says “YUCK,” He loves & accepts you!
The Bible says, “For God so loved the world (you) that he gave his only son.” (John 3: 16). God does not ignore or reject us because of sin or our shortcomings. He loves us and sent Jesus to exchange life for us.
Elsewhere Jesus said this about you and me:
“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:5-7)
Acceptance and Self-Esteem
Is it not validating and reassuring that you are not seen and treated like a rejected piece of green vegetable? The good news is that even if some or many misperceive and mistreat you, you have God and (hopefully others) to affirm you.
The results of acceptance
- A loving tone is set
- Feel valued and cared for
- You walk closer together
- You grow – personally & in marriage
Now let me turn this lesson around and ask you a question: Do you treat certain people in general with a heart and attitude of “yuck?” Especially are there people and is there a person close to you that you ignore, mock or reject because of a feature, trait, idea or need that you do not understand or like?
Knowing the feeling of hurt over feeling unacceptable, even rejected, by others about you, may I suggest you set a time of kindness for others. May you receive and accept them for who and what they offer – without judgement or rejection – and affirm their needs, desires, and hopes with you in life.
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.