the miraculous offering of acceptance

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since we know the pain that rejection can cause, shouldn’t we offer others a miracle…acceptance for the unique gift they can be to us?

the imagery of acceptance and inner peace

2013-07-25 14.54.07she woke from the most peaceful sleep. she lay in such a calm euphoric state. she could feel the warmth of the sun on her face which reminded her of how warm and secure her heart felt.

she had questions about this place and how she had come to live here. for the moment she would not focus on them. she was seizing the moment. she was in paradise and every part of her being soared with happiness.

Eden was magnificent and majestic. everywhere her eyes gazed there was beauty. being surrounded by such beauty satisfied something deep in her heart. at times, she felt as though she could breathe in the deep satisfaction as if it were life to her soul. it was soothing, gratifying.

her tummy rumbled drawing her attention to the reality that there were things to do. first, food. her body signalled the need for nourishment.

2013-07-25 14.54.54she opened her eyes and realized her husband was already away. his day had already begun. she wondered where he might be. the most probable answer would be that he was exploring. he was in charge of finding new creatures among the garden and deciding what they would be called. she and her husband were different somehow than everything else that lived in this place. the creatures that shared her home fascinated her.

as she strolled through the garden, a butterfly lit on her shoulder. “good morning, butterfly. it’s a glorious morning!”2013-07-25 15.27.11

it fluttered its wings in delight. she instinctively knew it was as delighted as she.

suddenly a bumble bee whizzed past her head. “that’s exactly what i’ll eat…honey,” she thought. her steps hastened toward the grove of trees where she could collect the sweet nectar.

she dipped her finger into the honeycomb and drew the liquid to her lips. the sensation thrilled her tongue. the bees parted as if to make way for her to enjoy their produce, all the while continuing their busy production. “nice job, guys! the honey is beautiful and sweet.” they gathered in formation and swarmed into the air. they swirled and twirled in appreciation of her praise. she giggled at the performance and chided, “i’ll get out of your way so you can get back to work”. they dropped back onto the honeycomb and resumed their task.2013-07-25 15.12.45

everything was in harmony. one thing assisting the next. her questions resurfaced. “what was this place and how did i get here?” she was curious.

she would ask her husband and the Creator to tell her the story again as they strolled the garden when sun began to sink in the sky.

she turned with a plan to find Adam. she smiled.

her heart was full of gratitude and appreciation. she would explain this to the Creator…He might enjoy hearing what her heart was feeling.

———–

i can only imagine what filled her heart. i do know that my heart is filled with gratitude on the calm, peace filled days when my heart attains the same joy. the place of harmony within my being. i cherish those days when they come and my heart is filled with gratitude.

although in my story i took a creative privilege to imagine her life, i know that it is not an unattainable fairy tale. i know that when i have been diligent to face the negative situations with courage and Wisdom, my heart can attain this state of peace and well-being. it is not “never-land”. i am accepted and loved by my Creator. i can accept the person i am meant to be – flaws and all – and live enriched in my journey. i understand the places that help me grow are sometimes difficult to face. life is not a paradise (as we all know) but it is worth living fully and joyfully, come what may.

acceptance is important to me. it feels like i have described it above. the foundation for my acceptance exists in a harmony of hearts – mine joined with my Creator and then outstretched.

not all days are like this. i know all to well. you will, too. Eve experienced. join me as i explore the steps she may have taken and decisions she made that brought pain to her heart. i suspect, they are not much different than ours. curiosity, jealousy, desire, comparison and doubt are a common theme for heading down a painful road. it feels like we walk alone, at times, but the road is not all that different to the one before us. the pain is familiar, too – rejection, loss, disappointment, shame and regret.

the pain is not the end. there is healing and acceptance waiting…

Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden

Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

have a great weekend,

D

i would like to give special thanks to my sister, Evie Hartness, for the permission to use her photos.

the search for acceptance

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Acceptance is a core need that we all share. we can go to extreme lengths to be accepted by those around us.

what’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve done in an attempt to be accepted by a person or group?

orientation or pledge week at most university campuses provides many entertaining examples.
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politicians campaign for the public’s acceptance of their leadership.

we apply for jobs in pursuit of acceptance of our gifts and skills.

and we woman, my goodness the numerous tactics we have applied to be accepted can be mind blowing.

why do we do it? i believe it’s a search for significance.

to gain an understanding of why this search is so important to you and i, we should consider:

why are you here? on earth, I mean?

were you born to be a mother, a successful business person, a musician, a minister? all are noble jobs. were you born to do jobs?

do you have children? did you have them so they could take on the jobs you don’t like to do? was that your motivation for bringing them into your life? no, it wasn’t, was it? would you be satisfied if that was the only purpose for having your children in your life?

are you satisfied in thinking that the reason you exist is for the work or job you do? what happens if that job ends; the kids grow up, you are fired from the business you love, an accident prevents you sharing your skill/talent or your ministry/career is not all you envisioned it to be? often in such cases, we struggle with our purpose and self worth?

intuitively our being cries out for more than that.

how could we ever find peace in the thought that this was it, bang we’re here, do a bit of work while you are here and smack – when’s it’s over, it’s over? nothing else?

the verses in Genesis 1 say we were created out of a deep desire for relationship. the Creator did not have jobs in mind for us when He created us. He made us in His image; therefore, we feel, think, understand, create, have wisdom, process facts and knowledge, show emotion, plan, reason, experience and set and attain goals. being who He is, He then is the source of these things in our lives.

we learn our significance in the context of relationship. all of creation is created with relationship in mind including nature. everything has an interrelation. i hate insects yet insects play an important role in the balance and growth in a garden.

another example is music. a single note is nice but put three notes together as a chord and there is a beautiful harmony.

nothing was designed for isolation. i think that is why isolation and rejection are such destructive wounds.

faith is important in the pursuit of acceptance. the relationship with the Creator was intended to keep us full (fulfilled). our needs can only be met in the context of relationship; firstly with God as the source then others as a resource.

others, although you love and adore them, are broken just as you are. therefore, if you turn your eyes from looking at the source (God, The Father) toward others to fulfil your needs, what is reflected back is not true intimacy, acceptance, value and belonging. you actually get a reflection of their brokenness, their lack of wholeness.

this is how we get hurt and wounded. If you look into the eyes of a depressed or drunken friend, spouse or family member and hope that they can reflect to you the value you are looking for, you will only find pain. They don’t have it to reflect back to you. they may give it their best shot but you may find some disappointments.

remember, i talked previously about the three parts of our being: body, soul and spirit. your body’s needs must be met with the appropriate elements (food, water, oxygen) – you can’t just use your thoughts to think of food and stay healthy. your spirit requires faith, hope, reverence, worship and truth for well-being. with the proper nourishing & relationship with your Creator, your spirit receives the acceptance, value and sense of belonging it longs for. this provides a proper foundation for self-acceptance so that in turn you can build stronger relationships with others.

step one in attaining acceptance is to recognise what true acceptance looks like (head for wisdom & Truth) and where to find it. secondly, when we get a true reflection, we can then accept ourselves. when we truly accept ourselves, we can learn to graciously accept others.

when we are broken hearted, we tend to reflect that brokenness to those around us. sad but true. we can learn how to gain acceptance…then give it…

everyone has a redeeming quality that we can accept and love…

D

Acceptance is seeing with your heart not your eyes

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An elderly woman and her little grandson, whose face was sprinkled with bright freckles, spent the day at the zoo.

Lots of children were waiting in line to get their cheeks painted by a local artist who was decorating them with tiger paws. “You’ve got so many freckles, there’s no place to paint!” a girl in the line said to the little fella.

Embarrassed, the little boy dropped his head. His grandmother knelt down next to him. “I love your freckles. When I was a little girl I always wanted freckles,” she said, while tracing her finger across the child’s cheek. “Freckles are beautiful.”

The boy looked up, “Really?”

“Of course,” said the grandmother. “Why just name me one thing that’s prettier than freckles.”

The little boy thought for a moment, peered intensely into his grandma’s face and softly whispered, “Wrinkles.”

-writer unknown

acceptance is one of three core motivations for many of our behaviours. join me this week as we look at accepting ourselves, dealing with rejection and understanding how acceptance/rejection issues motivate our behaviours.

see you soon,
D

Do you know your value?

Dustin Hoffman’s video came across my path recently. i was touched as i listened to his heart concerning playing the part of a women in the movie Tootsie. for a moment in time, he was given the opportunity to see inside the heart of a woman and how easily dismissed they can be because the package is not well received.

it made me think of one of my friends. my friend and i stood in front of a casket. hearts heavy and tears falling. she whispered, “he’s the only man who ever made me feel loved”. honestly, she is one in millions, crying out for someone to, “look at me”… the diamond she is, the value she has to offer and the love within her heart to share.

while i would dearly love to eradicate appearance judgement; magically causing the world see through compassionate eyes, i can’t. what i can do is encourage you, as a woman, to look at yourself through eyes of compassion.

when others reject us, we often turn that rejection inward and feel like we are un-loveable. we may be flawed by unfortunate circumstances experienced along our journey but they do not render us unworthy of love. we may need and be willing to change when possible but we need to give ourselves a break during the process.

our lives are full of relationships. many of them can be disappointing. however, the most important relationship that you have in your life is with you. you spend the most time with yourself. developing a healthy respect, acceptance and love for yourself is key to emotional well-being. learning to be patient, gentle and kind with yourself is the most valuable lesson you can learn so that your journey is unhindered. encouraging yourself to be the best you can be and to have the courage to carry out your purpose will help to guard your heart against the pain of rejection.

i was looking at the photo yesterday that i had taken of the pink lily. when i shot the photo, i didn’t even notice the little bee buzzing near the center of the flower. my thoughts went to the way the bee had just carried on doing what it did in its existence. it didn’t seem concerned about its size, or purpose or acceptance. i’m not sure it matters to the bees in the world if the honey they make will be valued by anyone. i’m not even sure they realize that we eat it. they just work away producing what they produce…and others benefit.

we should be like that. we should accept who we are and what we have to offer…just buzzing along down our path and produce a beautiful product…others will benefit.

when we invest the effort to love and accept ourselves, whether others love us as we wish they would or not, we gain the ability to live happily and emotionally strong.

i believe you are a diamond with your own unique cut and brilliance. all diamonds have a few flaws that occur during the formation process but the flaws don’t have to prevent your sparkle or refraction of light.

don’t believe the lie that value is directly related to anything other than being exactly the you that you are. acknowledge your flaws, continuing working on them and be like a diamond -reflect light and love in spite of them…they are part of your brilliance.Do you know your

D