Our Open Sit meditation for this week is:
I accept people as they are, and as they change. x7
Some clues for unpacking the phrase:
It is a great kindness to accept somebody as they are and as they change. This is because it gives them the room to be themselves in the moment, and to unfold as they decide is best for them over time. Is this not what we would like?
If we wait to accept and love only perfect people, we will never love. If others wait until we are perfect, we will never know love. Perfection doesn’t exist and it’s not that interesting. Let’s get over it.
Too often our non-acceptance of someone is based on a very limited understanding of them. A slight or two and we designate them as bad people. A little praise and they become good people. Let’s be open to each other’s rich variety of qualities.
Paradoxically by accepting someone as they are, we create a space for them where change, if it is needed will be more easily accomplished. We rarely force change onto someone. More often our controlling efforts lead to their resistance and acts of self-defense rather than their feeling supported and empowered to do what they need to do.
It is a great kindness to ourselves to be more spacious with others. This means we can avoid rushing to judgment all the time. What a relief! We can avoid many self-inflicted entanglements, and the emotional reactivity that they give rise to: irritation, passive-aggressiveness, fear, resistance and sadness.
By letting go of our assumptions about others, we can see each person and each situation more clearly. This clarity gives us a better chance of understanding what is actually happening, and to come up with a better response rather than a harmful reaction.
Of course we will not do this perfectly either, nor should we. Sometimes when somebody is trying to hurt us, or others for example, we will need to defend ourselves and sometimes create decisive boundaries too.
As Rumi writes,
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.”