accepting people where they are

today i want to share another piece of advice from the great gabby bernstein about accepting people where they are. (spoiler: i’m gonna talk about expectations…again).

as i’ve written probably one too many times, it’s natural to have expectations of the people we know and love. but when those aren’t met, resentment can breed and fester, thereby putting a strain on our relationships. so our best bet is to endeavor to accept those closest to us (and maybe not so close) as they are, without expectation and with unconditional love. as gabby says, this enables us to let go and forgive, and does both parties a huge favor. but of course, there’s a caveat: if one is in any kind of abusive relationship, that doesn’t mean he/she should stick around or endure painful or harmful behavior. it just means that person should be able to see the reality of the situation and say, “this isn’t healthy or right for me. i accept this person who has hurt me and wish him/her the best, but i won’t stick around and continue to suffer.” so extremely important: acceptance DOES NOT mean putting up with behavior that you don’t deserve or that doesn’t match your vibration (thank you law of attraction!)

since gabby says it best, here it is straight from the horse’s mouth (or rather, blog): “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.” a- to-the-men.


in praise of love

on saturday i had the great pleasure of witnessing the marriage of two dear friends. i’ve known the guy for nearly 15 years- he was one of the first friends i made my freshman year of college. over the course of those 15 years, i’ve watched him hop from one relationship to another. i met several of his girlfriends and always liked them well enough, but it wasn’t until the girl he married came along that i (and all of our friends) were pretty sure he’d found the one. they (we’ll call them dan and hilary) are probably way more different than they are similar, which leads me to believe there’s some truth to the saying that “opposites attract.” yet their core values are the same: they are both kind, extremely intelligent, and endlessly curious. that said, i’m not sure compatibility can ever be totally predicted. dan is a bit neurotic (i say that with the utmost love); yet hilary is so chill and goes with every flow. they compliment each other really nicely. but what i love most about them as a couple is how totally accepting and respecting dan and hilary are of each other and their differences. others might see the differences as reasons to not be together, yet this couple so clearly relishes what makes them individuals. i’m sure it makes their relationship challenging to some degree, but also satisfying. and fun.

there’s no real rhyme or reason to this post; i just wanted to express how much i love love. to me, it’s the most beautiful thing when two people commit to loving each other through thick and thin; to be partners in life; and to love whole-heartedly, despite the imperfections. my wish is that everyone who wants that kind of unabiding love recognizes it when it comes along, and is smart enough to hold onto it. because i know that it’s certainly not easy to find. the song goes that, “all you need is love,” and this weekend reminded me of this in spades. love for humanity (and all living things, including animals!), love for family and friends, love even for strangers. and if you’re lucky enough, love for the one person who knows your soul better than anyone else, who accepts you for all the wonderful and less-than-wonderful things that you are. for me, the jury is still out on soulmates, as in my opinion the word implies some kind of cosmic perfection. but i do believe in love that defies any and everything. love that may not always make sense to those on the outside–or the inside for that matter!–but love so strong that it can be neither denied nor defined.

on perspective, part 37564847

i am all about the perspective and gratitude as of late. but like most of us, i sometimes forget to look on the bright side of things. like this past weekend, for example: my mom’s birthday was on saturday (which coincided with the holiday weekend) so my family had plans to go to our beach house. we haven’t all been there together since last summer, so needless to say we were all looking forward to getting away. our time out there is always so nice and low key and mostly consists of spending time at the beach, cooking meals together, sipping rosé, and watching movies borrowed from the library (old school, i know. but i love it). but my mom has been sick for nearly two weeks now (nothing too serious thank god!); she thought she’d be able to fend her ailment off long enough to enjoy the long weekend, but when it came time to head out to the beach, she still just felt too sick. so we were forced to call the whole thing off. i was feeling crotchety and having fomo, thinking about how just about everyone else was at the beach soaking up the sun. in the end though i was just happy to be home with my family, celebrating another year of my mom’s beautiful life (while still secretly wishing we were doing all this at our beach house!)

then on sunday i heard news that a friend’s mom had died. she’d had breast cancer a few years ago, but after chemo and radiation had received a clean bill of health. then, as cancer is wont to do, it came back with a vengeance. within weeks, she was gone. just like that.

i thought of how my mom’s way less serious condition had cramped my style, and felt guilty for being remotely bothered by having my holiday weekend “ruined”. i was able to appreciate the incredible blessing of simply still having a mom. it’s a crude reality that my mom is getting up there, and it’s not unusual for people her age to contract life-threatening illnesses (god forbid!) i’ve already lost one parent, so i’m acutely aware of how fragile life is and how much the loss hurts (in case you haven’t experienced it, it’s basically like someone ripped your heart out of your chest and stomped on it.) that being said, i’m not prepared to lose my existing parent any time soon. so i’m saying it here: she can cramp my style as much as she wants, as long as she doesn’t go anywhere anytime soon.

so if you’re lucky enough to still have a parent (better yet, both!) maybe take a moment to say hi and “i love you”. i know i’m going to do it right now.

oh, the humanity

i hate to admit that i’m often a crotchety new yorker, grumbling about all the people, and the fact that it’s too cold (or too hot, these days). there are too many tourists and weird smells and just a constant assault on all of the senses. at the same time though, i’m pretty confident that it is the single best city in the world. some days i have such a tingly feeling of good will towards the city and the people in it (usually on the mornings when i either do yoga or tapping. go figure); today is one such day. on the subway this morning i forewent reading or listening to spotify and instead just sat there and took it all in. i’m a people watcher by nature (and was a sociology major) and am fascinated by human interaction. it’s pretty incredible to see people of every conceivable stripe and creed coexisting in this crazy place. i saw interracial couples strolling with baby carriages, mixed groups of friends, lots of tourists speaking different languages, mens in yarmulkes, a woman in a sari, and everything in between. each and every one of those people is just like you and me: trying to get by and thrive and be happy in this thing we call life. i wish i were better at these observations every day- it would make me far more tolerant! but i’m glad i was able to slow down and see humanity for all its beauty this morning. hopefully you’ll do this every now and then, too.

musings on a new job

i started a new job yesterday. without boring the reader with the details, i’ll just say that i had very mixed feelings about accepting the job when it was offered to me. my first day was a blur: learning the way things are done here, meeting all these new people and trying to remember their names and faces, and just getting an overall lay of the land. i can already tell that the job will have its negatives, but it will also have positives (like most things in life, i suppose). when i got home last night i began to feel a little anxious, thinking, did i make the wrong decision by taking this job? but i woke up with a feeling of zen this morning, a new attitude and determination to see this as another case of “everything happens for a reason” and making the most of this new opportunity.

i’m sure i sound very dramatic, when in reality 90% of women my age would probably envy my situation. but when your work doesn’t necessarily align with what you really love and think you’re meant to do, no amount of prestige can convince you that you are where you’re supposed to be.

i guess my point is: for the majority of us, the route to our definition of success will be circuitous. all we can do is keep a positive attitude and live in the moment, the whole while knowing that there’s something bigger and better out there for us. i don’t think this means breaking one’s back to make that other thing happen, but it’s slowly but surely plugging away at the small steps that can lead to the dream. the more i read about wildly successful people, the more i realize that their success took time. not to mention sweat and tears. rome wasn’t built in a day, as they say. so i’m embracing this new phase, but not allowing myself to lose sight of the ultimate goal.