What To Accept?

They always say time changes things, but you actu­al­ly have to change them your­self.

—Andy Warhol

Many of my rela­tion­ships, roman­tic or oth­er­wise, are often approached, at least par­tial­ly, based on the hope that the oth­er per­son will change. This change can take the form of some­thing as sim­ple as prompt­ness, as frus­trat­ing as tidi­ness, or as grand as self-cen­tered­ness.

Change, syn­ony­mous with improve­ment, has been the basis of my life. It takes a self-aware­ness of my faults, com­bined with a desire to change these faults, to improve. Assuming that oth­ers are the same way has been one of the biggest mis­takes I’ve ever made. When the veil is lift­ed, and I real­ize that some­one is stuck in their per­son­al­i­ty, I lose my faith in human­i­ty. For the frac­tion of peo­ple who are con­scious enough to know that they need to change, (and I mean this in an absolute sense, where almost any­one would agree that some­thing needs improve­ment, such as tem­per or closed-mind­ed­ness) only a frac­tion of those are actu­al­ly able to do so.

It’s not that some peo­ple have willpow­er and some don’t. It’s that some peo­ple are ready to change and oth­ers are not.

This means that when I meet some­one, I either have to accept or reject them for who they are, because that’s most like­ly who they’re going to be for the rest of their lives. I have to stop accept­ing some­one based on the hope that they will get bet­ter.

Acceptance, which has always been a dif­fi­cult thing for me, thus becomes the most impor­tant thing in my rela­tion­ships. It also remains one of the most hard­est things for me to change.

So should I learn to accept this about myself, the way I should learn to accept things of oth­ers?


  1. my first mar­riage failed because of this ‘change’
    I fell in love with his poten­tial and what I saw as his poten­tial, rather than what was right there.

    You are com­plete­ly cor­rect. If you love your­self, flaws and all (NObody is per­fect, no mat­ter how much you try to change) then you’ll be able to love some­one else, with their flaws too…but you got­ta love them with their flaws…if it’s a problem..then just ask your­self if you could live with that flaw the rest of your life???
    for me , it’s that my hus­band has poor table man­ners.…
    He’s no con­cept or aware­ness of ‘social norms’ around eat­ing, let alone ‘din­ing’ in fine restau­rants…
    he’s the most loy­al man I ever met, and loy­al­ty and hon­esty are far more imp than slurp­ing his food or hov­er­ing over his plate..so there ya have it

    My expe­ri­ences shows me that when­ev­er I become crit­i­cal of the oth­er in my rela­tion­ship it’s because of my own dis­sat­is­fac­tion with some­thing in my life or some­thing in myself…

    those close to us are only mir­rors…

    and YES
    hav­ing chil­dren is like re-liv­ing part of your childhood..because WHO opens all the toys and sets them up???
    besides there’s no ther­a­py like rais­ing your own kids and giv­ing them what YOU lacked…not mate­r­i­al things…intangible things… like uncon­di­tion­al love and the skills to deal with their emo­tions, sup­port at every turn…it’s very ther­a­peu­tic…

    but I’m glad that I wait­ed til my 30-some­things to have them
    no WAY I would have been the par­ent I am now.…10 yrs ago…
    thanks for vis­it­ing my hum­ble blog

  2. i read the oth­er blog entry..regarding self improve­ment
    I agree , it is the high­est goal..the BEST thing I can do for my kids, is to con­stant­ly be improv­ing myself , being aware of myself and WHAT I’m doing..
    What I do has far more pow­er (esp. in a child’s eye) than what I say!

    but remem­ber, every­body has weaknesses…everybody
    a weak­ness, implies a vulnerability..and every­body has the abil­i­ty to be vulnerable..that the MOST human aspect of us…that’s what takes the MOST courage and strength..to be vulnerable..to allow your­self to be vulnerable…THAT is true courage…

    so, improve away.…part of ‘improv­ing’ my be accept­ing your weak­ness­es…
    have you seen the movie; What the Bleep Do We Know?
    REALLY…go rent it if you haven’t
    THAT will ROCK your world..
    or not…
    for me it just con­firmed every­thing deep secret truth my soul knew about…so it real­ly was­n’t a surprise…but it was an eye OPENER!

    ok…enough typ­ing :Cheers, AMy

  3. Wow, Amy…you’re def­i­nite­ly some­one who under­stands com­plete­ly what I’m say­ing. Kinda com­fort­ing to know I’m not alone.

    I imag­ine that once I have kids (if ever), my goal in life will change to improv­ing for them, instead of myself.

    As for the movie, I haven’t seen it yet, but I did notice it in the local video store ever since you men­tioned it a few posts back. It’s first on my list once I have time to get a mem­ber­ship.

  4. Never try to change oth­ers, for it is not with­in your pow­er. Always work to change your­self, pre­cise­ly because you are the only one who can.

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