Relationships: Correct vs. Accept (Part 3 of 4)
Greetings. So in this four part series, the focus is on answering this question: Do you want to correct people or do you want to pursue accepting one another? In my last two posts, I focused on the unhealthy decision of pursuing correcting one another. In these next two posts, I want to focus on pursuing accepting one another.
I am sure you remember the words from Billy Joel and his famous song: Just the Way You Are. Do you remember the words he wrote and sang: “Don’t go changing to try and please me, you never let me down before; I will take the good times; I will take the bad times, I will take you just the way you are.”
As you know, there are more words to the song but the basic premise is his plea to his lover that he will take her just the way she is. Accepting people can relate to this song of just wanting to pursue and engage in ways of taking and accepting one another just the way we are. Accepting one another means you also participate in the wedding vows for those of you who are married. I will love and accept you for better or worse, for richer or poor, in sickness and in health. These vows are statements that you do want love and you do want acceptance.
People who want acceptance are tired and exhausted with correction. As you know, we live in a world where we are constantly trying to fix and solve mistakes or problems. You make a mistake, I make a mistake, you have problems and I have problems. Is it our intention to try to fix and correct mistakes and problems all the time?
Sure, if I hire a tennis coach to teach me how to swing the backhand correctly so I can hit the ball over the net, I am accepting the fact that as a coach, he is going to teach and train me to correct any swing with my arms or legs that results in me not being able to consistently hit the ball with my backswing.
So I accept his correction because I have hired him to correct my swing. I value and accept his teaching and strategy. Now, if he starts to move towards not only correcting my backswing but starts to correct me, than we are in trouble. For example, if he starts to attack my charter, starts to accuse me that I am lazy or stupid, or starts to say words in which he is out to fix or correct me because I am the problem for incorrectly not hitting the ball and not my arms or backswing is the problem, then we are going to have problems.
I am just a regular guy who wants to play recreationally with others for fun to play tennis. My goal to not to go pro, not to play in serious competition or tournaments on the weekend, and not to quit my job and career and at the age of 45 to pursue a tennis life. I just want help hitting the ball better with my backswing. I am looking for the coach to accept my mistakes and then coach me to improve in my backswing given I make a mistake when I swing.
But when you choose to marry someone, choose a friend, have a sibling or children, or other important personal people in your life, you are not choosing these people to be your coach, to be your mentor, to find ways to ask of them to fix or correct you regarding a mistake or problem in your life. All you want is to be loved and to be accepted. Acceptance is so important to relationship because you are walking in confidence that people will not rush in to punish, correct and go into a rage every time you make a mistake.
The saying is true: to be human is to a person who makes mistakes. Healthy people accept when they go into the relationship and remain in that relationship that the goal or the intention is to accept one another. Mistakes can be accepted because healthy people know that mistakes can be fixed or remedy. A mistake is not the end of the world and when two people say to one another, I made a mistake and I confess and own my part for what I did, then both people are accepting one another given that both people are going to make a mistake.
So pursue accepting problems and accepting people who make mistakes. Find ways to accept one another for better and for worse. Find ways to love and accept one another by taking one another just the way you are. Because when you accept and not correct, healthy patterns start to develop and the two people are happy due to the level of love and acceptance between the two of them.