Love, Admiration, and Acceptance. Old (fired) therapist says these are the three things in life that everyone must have, or wants, or something (I did a stand-up job of paying attention).

Uhm, so okay. If everyone needs love, admiration, and acceptance, isn't that basically saying that we depend upon other people in order to feel good about ourselves? Shouldn't we perhaps be loving, admiring, and accepting ourselves before we go trampling off into the world looking for said things from other people?

So to tackle these important qualities of life, I have decided to uhm, tackle them.

Love: Just what is up with this whole love thing, anyway? If I love someone, but then they hurt me, I may still love them but I certainly don't admire or accept them. And if I'm hurt and still in love, then I'm unhealthy and that's no good. But what if I love myself, and love myself so much that no one seems good enough in comparison? That just isn't right, either. Then there is the unconditional love that I (and all parents, I hope) have for my children. Now, they may drive me completely insane at times, and oh yes there are times I sincerely do not like how they are acting, but I love them now, and I will always. My question then, is this: is it possible to share this kind of unconditional love with someone you didn't give birth to? This isn't an easy question, because there are far too many possibilities to consider before ever arriving at an answer. And is it good enough to know you are loved by family and friends, but not have that earth-shattering love-of-a-lifetime that so many people seem to be searching for? What if you are earth-shatteringly loved by someone, but you don't return that love? Personally, I'm going to have to say that if love is one of the things everyone needs to feel happy and well-adjusted, we're in a whole lotta trouble.

Admiration: Ah, admiration. Another slightly sticky situation (say that three times fast). Not only is admiration in and of itself a rather difficult concept (for me) to grasp, it has too many side alleys to get lost in. Let's say that someone admires me for ... my soft and silky hair. Is that good enough? I don't want to be admired for my soft and silky hair. I don't want to be admired for my cute little smile or surgically redefined nose (small lie, who doesn't like being told they have a nice smile?). I want to be admired for more substantial things. Yet, at the same time, I don't admire myself for more substantial things. I have the innate ability to take anything good I do, and throw mud on it and call it lackluster. Also, there are different levels of admiration. If you admire someone so much that you toss them up onto a 10 foot pedastal, they're so high up there that you can't really relate to them, and besides, they're bound to catch a chill or fall off and break their lovely surgically redefined nose. That said, I have some serious issues with admiration.

Acceptance: This, above all else, sticks in my side rather painfully. What is true acceptance? Do we accept everyone as they are? What if the person you love is doing things you don't believe in, do you accept them as they are? Is that the meaning of true love? Or is that just a pothole called codependency? It seems there may be a fine line here, between the two. And if you don't accept people as they are, what does that mean? I know people that I love and certainly don't agree with everything they do, but I accept them because, well, I just do. But what if you don't accept yourself as you are? Or what if you do, but no one else does?? Then you're all happy and self-accepting and feeling like nothing can harm you and *bam* all of a sudden someone looks at you and tells you that you have it all wrong. What then? Well, I suppose if you're all high and mighty and accepting, you just don't give a damn what other people think. But still, in order to truly accept others as they are, I think you have to first accept yourself as you are. Didn't someone (lots of someones?) once say that what you dislike in other people is what you fear in yourself? I think they did. And I think they're right. So in order to do this whole acceptance thing, you've got to get rid of some baggage before you fall on your face.

Okay, so love, admiration, and acceptance. God help me if that's what I need to be happy. I'd rather take a pint of Godiva chocolate ice cream and a sappy movie, thanks.

No comments:

Post a Comment