Note: This post was updated in 2018 for clarity and additional resources.
I recently had a bit of a conflict with a friend that kind of pissed me off. I felt like I was being attacked, and when I walked away from the conversation I was feeling super defensive.
My fierce Scorpio instincts kicked in strong. I had this urge to be like, “Okay, screw you, this is over.”
Thankfully, I knew that wasn’t the voice of my highest self. So I did what I always do: I leaned on my tools.
I began meditating and a message came through:
Accept people where they are. Even if they’re not showing up the way you want them to or treating you the way you want.
When you can accept someone where they are, you can let go and forgive. That might mean you repair the relationship. Or it might mean you walk away, but with a sense of peace instead of anger.
Watch the video for more on this, or keep reading below the video for additional guidance.
What it means to accept people where they are
When you can accept someone where they are, in the experience that they’re having, then you can let go. You can forgive. You can release. Accepting someone where they are doesn’t necessarily mean you stick around, especially if it’s an abusive situation or something that is not serving your highest good. It’s about giving you the freedom to walk away with grace instead of anger.
What does this mean? It means we look at these relationships without getting defensive defensive and feeling like we need to be right. We let go of the need to prove that we have no part in the situation. When we accept someone for who they are, we take ownership of our own happiness and choose to see that the other person is not necessarily well, happy or fully complete. We accept that’s where they’re at.
The practice of accepting
The practice is really simple. Take an honest account of the situation. Witness your own judgment. If you have been seeing yourself as a victim, no matter how right that feels, take it out of the story. Look at the other person in whatever is up for them and say, “I accept you where you are.”
You can say these words to the person you want to accept, or you can say them to yourself. You can send them this energy in a meditation or prayer, trusting that they will feel it. If you are struggling to accept someone, try the practice of EFT tapping to release judgment.
Dr. Wayne Dyer had a beautiful way of talking about what it means to accept everyone, even the people who have done horrible things. Including people you don’t want in your life. He said, “You are not loving the hostile act, but you are loving the spirit that is blocked in those who are harmful and unloving.”
Once you have accepted someone where they are, you can make a decision of how you want to move forward. You can decide, “I’m done. I’ve got to take care of myself. I need to take some space.” Or you can make a decision to say, “You know what? I’d like to clear this. Let’s talk it through. I want to hear what’s up for you.”
When you accept someone where they are, you empower yourself. You create the opportunity for freedom and healing.
Deepen your acceptance practice with Judgment Detox
In my book Judgment Detox, I offer lots of guidance on how to accept other people and yourself.
If you feel called to heal old wounds, release judgment and find peace, this 6-step method will show you the way.