I Love You Just the Way You Are


The holidays are always a time of year when a lot of people become reflective of the year that is about to pass. This is the place I have been in this weekend. A lot of changes have occurred over the past six months and the past month has brought a whole world wind of change. In between periods of reflection, I have been giving myself time to just chill and enjoy the slowness of the winter season. Hence yesterday was a time to catch up on episodes of the TV show Glee; singing my heart out on the couch without offending anyone with my lack of vocal abilities. Glee dedicated this past week’s episode to Billy Joel, a singer/song writer whose music brings back memories of listening to my brother sing when he was little and performing in the living room with my aunts. This particular song is most simple and gorgeous. It warms the heart and brings smiles to the face. It reminds me of a favorite line in one of my favorite chick flicks, Bridget Jones’ Diary. I know you know it ladies…..when Bridge tells her friends how Mark Darcy said that he loves her “just the way she is.” Her friend Jude says “just the way you are? Not thinner, not cleaverer? Not with slightly bigger breasts or slightly smaller nose?” No Bridget says. Jude shares a resounding F*@k to that. She seems so dumb founded because this level of acceptance and pure love is so rare to find. How often can you say that you have felt totally witnessed and accepted from someone or that you have been able to do the same for someone else? Not very often I imagine. Our minds tend to hone in on the things that we would like changed in someone and when we are our unhealthiest, we go about trying to put those changes into effect. The idea of accepting a person just as they are and loving them with all their quirks and flaws seems overwhelming. This is possibly because we are struggling to love our own imperfections. It kind of goes back to our discussion in our chat Receive the Gift of Receiving Each person who comes into our lives is showing up as a gift for a reason. When we are trying to change another person, our control is not allowing us to see the beauty in the gift before us. This happens in partner relationships but can happen in a variety of other situations as well. We tend to want what we want when we want it as if that 2 year old we once were is still inside stomping his/her feet in rebellion. But what if there was a different way? What would it look like to have total acceptance over what has occurred and what is currently occurring in your life?

Radical acceptance is a concept we have talked about in previous chats. In our discussions on acceptance I have shared this quote from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous but it deserves its’ spotlight in our chat today. Page 417 reads “And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation – some fact of my life – unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober, unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and my attitudes.” Wooo now that’s some truth for ya! No wonder peace of mind has been illusive, right? One thing I have always loved about my work in the field of addictions is that it is not for the faint of heart. You have to be willing to deal with what is happening right here, right now if you are to help a person get sober. Revisiting this quote brings some truth to light for me as well. The mind can very easily twist and turn things into a Hollywood film but in all reality peace is fairly simple if we learn to accept people, places and things just as they are. Acceptance is key and the next step is acknowledging that the reason why these people places and things are occurring in your life is to give you an opportunity for personal growth. If we see each person who enters our life as a teacher, we have the opportunity for growth in every moment. This means that we would have to let go of victim consciousness which states that somehow things are happening TO us rather than FOR us. Sometimes bad things do happen to good people but even then there is often a meaning behind these things as well. AA uses the word God a lot in their literature and meetings. To me that word is just a word that can be replaced with any other word that better describes how you understand this Universal energy working in your life.

People are beautiful curious creatures. We all want to be seen, witnessed and accepted. Human beings are social creatures. We are meant to be in community. We yearn to have a sangha, a special spiritual communal connection with each other. When you allow yourself to be seen, you open yourself up for hurt but you also open yourself up to love. When you give someone the gift of acceptance, you give a gift to the soul which is far deeper than the physical structure of the person you are witnessing in front of you. Our souls yearn for love. The type of love that the cast of Glee is singing about is the kind of rare love that is inside us all. The key is to be willing to open up your heart to sharing and receiving it because in doing so you have the opportunity to heal the world. As we begin the end of our year and you begin to take stock of what has occurred, remind yourself of the beauty in all those that have touched you in 2013. Also be reminded of the beauty within you that flourished this year. Make this year’s reflections from a place of being grounded in loving kindness. The mind judges, the soul loves.
For today, how will you embrace your loving soul and share it with someone else? How might you allow for this type of love to shine from your soul? Today I will share with a few people who I care about how they have touched my life and ultimately my soul just by being the way they are. I love you all just the way you are:)



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