Acceptance is not submitting yourself to something less than your standards can allow; it is realizing what the facts are, and figuring out how you can live with them, just the way they are. Easier said than done, right?
Have you set expectations for your family members? It’s easy to say that you just want them to do their best, or that you just know they are capable of it. Does that make you feel noble, compassionate, and caring? What happens though when your son gets a D in a class at school, or drops out of a sport? Do you feel let down, like that was a hard blow against you personally? It’s hard to admit that, isn’t it? After all, your intentions were good, weren’t they?
Holding your loved ones up to your own expectations is just setting yourself up for resentment. Wouldn’t it be more pleasant if your son had chosen a class he was interested in or felt confident about, instead of the class that he knew he was expected to take. Imagine the pride you could have felt when he got a high grade in that class instead, or the warmth you’d have felt seeing the pride in his eyes.
Accepting your son for who he is, and encouraging his own interests and goals, is much easier on him, and on you. Maybe your spouse won’t make you rich by the time you’re 30, but who were you to impose that high standard on him or her in the first place? What right do you have to impose expectations on anyone other than yourself? Really. Once you can accept your loved ones for who they are, you can free yourself of those future resentments and make time for your own goals and dreams.
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