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Acceptance and Appreciation of Differences

 

Imagine for a moment how much healthier, happier, and safe our world would/could be if we all had a true and deep appreciation, respect, and acceptance of one another and our differences….

When people think of differences, the more obvious ones immediately come to mind, including race, ethnicity, religion, physical ability, or economic status. Then there are those differences not so obvious to the naked eye, such as sexual orientation, cultural beliefs, lessons learned early on in life, developmental differences, and communication styles. I once worked with a couple who initially presented with issues around communicating. They stated they were “fighting a lot about just about anything” and “we got along great at the beginning of our relationship but now everything seems to be a power and control struggle.”  Over the course of three or four sessions, it became more clear to me (as the therapist) just how much of this couple’s initial attraction to each other was, in fact, based on embracing their differences, which were many, most of which were not visible! As their feelings grew deeper and the relationship became more serious, a number of qualities and characteristics that initially attracted them to one another were now dividing them and causing pain and resentment.  In our work together, this couple was able to come to an understanding as to what they were doing and why, with fear and differing backgrounds beginning to erode their love relationship.  With some cognitive-behavioral therapy, along with improving their active listening skills, this couple became able to once again appreciate and accept their differences and harmony was achieved!

If everyone approached their world from a place of openness, warmth, and inclusion versus fear, close-mindedness, and exclusion, Peace and Love would abound! It requires, however, a paradigm shift from one of competition and self-righteousness to one of acceptance, tolerance, abundance, and gratitude.  When we learn to truly appreciate that and those around us, magic happens! Connection…