A recent Facebook post put a smile on my face. It said, “If someone shows you their true colors, don’t try to repaint them.” This simple sentence really struck a chord with me. It reminded me of my time on the Camino de Santiago and the beauty of accepting people without judgement. The following is a short excerpt from A Million Steps that attempts to explain my version of this thought provoking quote.
“By this point in my journey, I had met many diverse people from all walks of life who came to Spain from every corner of the world. It seemed to me that the Camino was an equalizer of all people. On The Way, people were not defined by their religion, age, occupation, or wealth. We all slept in the same room and nobody had a gold-plated backpack. Instead, we were defined by how we treated each other in the moment. The more time I spent with my new friends, the more I realized how similar we all are as human beings. Our problems with relationships, finances, health, and mortality are all universal, as are the common denominators that unlock our enjoyment of happiness. From the first step, we felt like a large family walking each other home.”
When judgement enters the equation, the next logical step is to impose change. Each person that you meet has a gift for you, if you are open to reception. The gift process shuts down the minute you cloud your vision with a desire to make people into something they are not. It is like trying to enjoy a sunset with pirate patches on both eyes. The act of adjudication usually illustrates what you do and don’t accept about yourself. The reactions you have are nothing more than a mirror.
Accepting people as they are does not mean that you have to like or condone their beliefs and behaviors. Instead, accept them for who they are and realize that you are far more likely to win the Powerball drawing than to change them.
Like most good things in life, this requires work and perseverance. The benefits are countless. Resentment and dissension will evaporate. Isn’t trying to change someone just shorthand for telling people they are not “good enough?” Acceptance build trust and allows for people to really open up and build closeness. Most importantly, it allows you to enjoy the gift they bring to your life.
On another note, I really need your help with this never ending journey. Please consider the following:
1. Buy my book and donate to a local library.
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7. Buy my book for everyone on your Christmas list.
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