It is easy for us to have fixed beliefs and views about what’s right and wrong in our lives and the world at large. And some of us often find ourselves getting frustrated when people don’t see things our way.
Our perspectives on life come from our experiences growing up. And it is human nature to stay with the beliefs that we have become accustomed to. Even if sometimes they do not serve us well, we still prefer to hold on to them rather than change the way we look at something. We tend to be fearful of change which makes it one of the hardest things for human nature to do.
However we are on this planet to learn and grow, and one of the best ways to do this is by giving ourselves permission to be open and appreciative to different perspectives. This is because it takes us from a position of judgement I am right and you are wrong to one of acceptance. When we judge others we are seeing ourselves as better than them, and the reason we need to do this is so that we can feel better about ourselves.
The explanation for this is to do with self acceptance and the ability to love ourselves unconditionally. We need to accept both our positive and shadow characteristics (warts and all) and love them …unconditionally. When we do not have the ability to do this we are not in a position to accept others.
If we cannot accept ourselves then we look outside ourselves for acceptance. When we are needing someone to agree with our views, what we are really saying is if I can get you to agree with me, then it will make me feel justified being me and that makes me feel ok. If we don’t succeed in winning someone over, then we either dig our heels in even more and try even harder to make our thoughts and feelings the right ones, or we dismiss the person and their views altogether. Neither is a win for us because we just get a buildup of frustration, intolerance of others, and fear from finding ourselves in situations we are unable to control.
None of this matters when we learn self acceptance, because self acceptance enables us to be ok with ourselves. If something doesn’t fit into our world it no longer needs to feel like a threat to us because we are already feeling empowered. We are no longer coming from fear and feeling we need to justify ourselves. When someone doesn’t see life our way we can be in a position of being open, interested and grateful to them, because we know we can adopt that view if it makes more sense than our own.
The main point here is that we cannot control the minds and thoughts of others. We can however strive to be in a position where we have the power within ourselves to be able to choose how we react and feel in such situations, and to see differences not as threats, but as opportunities.