Archive for the ‘Acceptance’ Category

No Time for Disappointment

Friday, August 24th, 2018

“Behold the One beholding you and smiling.” It is precisely because we have such an overactive disapproval gland ourselves that we tend to create God in our own image. It is truly hard for us to see the truth that disapproval does not seem to be part of God’s DNA. God is just too busy loving us to have any time left for disappointment.

— Gregory Boyle, Tattoos on the Heart, p. 28

Photo: Notre Dame, Paris, April 2001

Each Experience of Love Illuminates Love

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

You don’t have to love yourself unconditionally before you can give or receive love. This turns the quest for self-love into yet another self-improvement project — an additional barrier to feeling whole and deserving of love.

The good news is that opportunities for love enter our lives unpredictably, whether or not we’ve perfected self-compassion or befriended our inner critic. When we develop our ability to love in one realm, we simultaneously nourish our ability in others, as long as we remain open to the flow of insight and compassion.

Just as a prism refracts light differently when you change its angle, each experience of love illuminates love in new ways, drawing from an infinite palette of patterns and hues. We gaze at an infant and feel our hearts swell, and when we notice it’s not the result of anything the baby has done, we can begin to imagine regarding ourselves the same way. We learn from any relationship in which we’ve made a heartfelt connection.

— Sharon Salzberg, Real Love, p. 112-113

[Photo: Sunset from Waterside Inn, Chincoteague, Virginia, October 22, 2016.]

The Worth of Our Emotions

Monday, June 11th, 2018

Honoring the worth of our emotions — no matter what they are or how little we or others understand them — is a skill that changes the entire tenor of our lives.

— Ken Page, Deeper Dating, p. 192

[Photo: Hug Point, Oregon, November 10, 2015]

Pleased with Us

Tuesday, June 5th, 2018

God would seem to be too occupied in being unable to take Her eyes off of us to spend any time raising an eyebrow in disapproval. What’s true of Jesus is true for us, and so this voice breaks through the clouds and comes straight at us. “You are my Beloved, in whom I am wonderfully pleased.” There is not much “tiny” in that.

— Gregory Boyle, Tattoos on the Heart, p. 20

[Photo: Meadowlark Gardens, Virginia, April 3, 2012]

Relating to Ourselves with Lovingkindness

Monday, May 28th, 2018

Fortunately, when we relate to ourselves with lovingkindness, perfectionism naturally drops away. We may realize we’ll never sing an aria at the Met, but we can continue to love opera, follow our favorite singers, and perhaps join a local chorus. There’s no frustration, bitterness, or self-criticism in this kind of loving acceptance. It doesn’t mean we’re complacent, but rather we stop resisting the way things actually are. Wholehearted acceptance is a basic element of love, starting with love for ourselves, and a gateway to joy. Through the practices of lovingkindness and self-compassion, we can learn to love our flawed and imperfect selves. And in those moments of vulnerability, we open our hearts to connect with each other, as well. We are not perfect, but we are enough.

— Sharon Salzberg, Real Love, p. 71

[Photo: Zweibr├╝cken Rose Garden, Germany, June 2003]

Our Common Human Hospitality

Saturday, May 19th, 2018

Our common human hospitality longs to find room for those who are left out. It’s just who we are if allowed to foster something different, something more greatly resembling what God had in mind. Perhaps, together, we can teach each other how to bear the beams of love, persons becoming persons, right before our eyes. Returned to ourselves.

— Gregory Boyle, Tattoos on the Heart, p. xv

[Photo: Burg Dahn, Germany, July 1997]

The Message of Pain

Thursday, May 17th, 2018

When clients are referred to me because they’ve gotten stuck in the thorny aftermath of intimate betrayal, they are invariably preoccupied with why their partners did it to them — or worse, what they might have done to make their partners betray them. That breaks my heart. Not only does focus on the betrayer’s motivations distract from healing but speculation about a partner’s motives is utterly fruitless. We can never know why someone betrays an intimate bond.

For example, suppose you decide, as most of my clients do at some point, that your partner lied, cheated, or abused you because she was depressed, anxious, deluded, or stressed out, or because she drank too much, exercised too little, or experienced any of a multitude of possible contributing factors. The fact is, most people with those experiences do not betray their loved ones. At best, speculation about your partner’s motives may yield possible preconditions for the betrayal, but you’ll never accurately identify why your partner chose to betray you.

Rather than speculating about what might have caused your partner to inflict this pain, it is far more to your benefit to concentrate your attention on the internal message of the pain, which is to heal, repair, and improve.

— Steven Stosny, Living and Loving After Betrayal, p. 24

[Photo: Keukenhof, Holland, April 17, 2004]

Valuable Lessons

Tuesday, May 1st, 2018

Though it may seem counterintuitive to our inner perfectionist, recognizing our mistakes as valuable lessons (not failures) helps to lay the groundwork for later success.

— Sharon Salzberg, Real Love, p. 68

[Photo: Meadowlark Gardens, Virginia, April 3, 2012]

Let Go of Grievances

Saturday, April 21st, 2018

Today, let go of any grievances that you have toward anyone. Bless them, and feel yourselves opening the door to receive once again. Feel all of the love that comes through this doorway, feel all of the abundance that is coming toward you.

— Chuck Spezzano, If It Hurts, It Isn’t Love, p. 308

[Photo: Riverbend Park, Virginia, April 20, 2018]

Attractions of Inspiration

Thursday, April 19th, 2018

We don’t need the roller coaster of negative attractions in order to grow! We can grow through inspiration instead.

Attractions of inspiration have a warmth and an easiness. In these relationships, our challenge is to accept and return our partner’s caring, not to win that caring. Our partners might challenge us to be better, but at bottom, they love us for who we are. Attractions of inspiration are fueled by the real sense of well-being that the relationship creates in us, not by the unrelenting itch for something that’s denied us. These attractions often unfold slowly. They get richer as time goes on. They may take lots of work — but such relationships allow the work of intimacy. They make us feel love, not desperation. These are the only relationships to build a life around, the only ones that deserve the gift of our most intimate self. And I promise you, they really are out there.

— Ken Page, Deeper Dating, p. 90

[Photo: South Riding, Virginia, April 18, 2018]