Acceptance and approval are often mistaken as the same thing, but they are two very different concepts. The English word, “acceptance” means recognizing the reality of a situation or condition and is derived from a Latin word meaning, “to find rest in.” When we accept someone, we acknowledge the good and bad realities of who they are. We find rest in the knowledge of their reality.
The English word “approval” means, “to consider something or someone to be good or satisfactory.”
We must accept all the “badness” in individuals we claim to love and care for. We must accept as reality the narcissism, failures, and recurring shortcomings of those we love. But to approve of someone when he or she is participating in negative or self-destructive behaviors creates confusion in terms of what is right and wrong.
We all need acceptance; this is how we genuinely connect with others, but we may not always approve of what others do. We demonstrate acceptance in two ways. First, we demonstrate our acceptance of those we love and care about by connecting to every aspect of them—the immature, the disappointing, the shameful—all of it. Second, we set limits on the negative behavior of others—their selfishness, lying, arrogance, and various other weaknesses—in an effort to help them release the unrealistic demands they place on themselves and those around them.
The continual acceptance and approval process helps us establish sound judgment, make good decisions, and accurately identify our own strengths and weaknesses. We need others to help us develop the belief that we are special even when we aren’t behaving special. Through meaningful acceptance we are able to get off the dysfunctional merry-go-round of guilt and perfectionistic ideals, and are free to effectively deal with the realities about the world and ourselves.
Through engaging in a healthy and continuous acceptance/approval cycle with others we learn to see ourselves from a more mature and realistic perspective. We see our own limitations, and these limits do not frighten us into trying to present a fake self to those we meet. When we accept ourselves we accept both our strengths and struggles. We do not fear sharing these aspects of ourselves with others because they hold no power over us—we are not arrogant because of our strengths and we do not see ourselves as worthless because of our struggles. This is what it means to be a well-integrated person.
Choose to love.
Allow others to accept you.
Accept the limits mature people place on you,
knowing that their limits are love in disguise.
Our Double Your Money campaign kicked off last month, and we are so excited to know that each dollar given so far this year is being doubled! Thank you to all of our Peace Partners who continued to give this year. We also want to acknowledge the new Partners in this month’s “Thank You Notes”:
- Thank you, Lone Jack Baptist Church, for your partnership. We appreciate your monthly gift and the opportunity to help provide resources for your church family.
- Thank you, Pointer Farms, for your support. Because of you, children and families are receiving the help needed.
- Thank you, Greater Lee’s Summit Healthcare Foundation, for selecting us to receive your grant. It is our pleasure to partner with you in making a difference in the health and well being of our community.
We so appreciate the support of all of our partners. Your gifts are invaluable. Thank you for believing in what we do. If you would like to find out how to become a partner and how your gifts can be doubled, please click on the link below or contact our Development Director, Jeff Cox, at email@example.com.