Accepting others and deepening relationships: Seeing, validating, growing (Love part 2)
Welcome back, sweet soul, so happy to have you again!
It’s a beautiful morning here, and we are still in our month of love. Today, I speak about accepting others exactly as they are.
To love someone is to accept them as part of ourselves, and that means – wait – if we accept everyone as they are, if we can just perceive ourselves to be part of this collective, where things are in flow, and things are good, then we can continue to uplift each other.
Accepting each other fully in three parts today:
- See the other person with new eyes every time
The first piece is when you see a loved one, or just somebody who you regularly see in your life – doesn’t even have to be a very close relationship: Can you see them new every day, every time you meet them, instead of through your past experience?
We are very used to making things efficient in our brain. That’s been great for survival, and otherwise we would never get anything done, because figuring things out for the first time always takes longer. At the same time, that efficiency limits us. By that efficiency we take shortcuts that make us miss out on the full experience. What does that mean?
My friend comes around the corner and I just project whatever previous memories we’ve had together. They kind of stay the same in my perception, whereas they may have tremendously changed in the meantime. They may have had new insights in their lives, they may have gone through experiences, they may have grown. Can I meet this beautiful human being on their new level? Can I meet them where they’re at today? Can I fully see who they are today?
And then be present with them? Being present with somebody, fully present, that allows us to truly see them.
How does that come through when I fully see somebody?
- Validating their experience
If I want them to know that I see them, that’s the second piece, that means validating somebody’s experience. If you and I are having a conversation, I put myself in your shoes. I do my best to understand what you’re going through, what you are experiencing. I can feel what you’re feeling to some degree. Walking a mile in somebody else’s shoes helps us so much to understand them better.
And the way how we can express that is by validating their experience – reflecting back. “This is what I hear you say – did I get that right?”
Not word by word, not sentence by sentence – unless it’s a very intimate deep meaningful conversation where every single sentence matters a lot. Then that may be called for.
Reflecting back “this is what I’m hearing you say”, “oh you’re saying this thing happened last week and this is how you felt about – it did I get that right? And this is how you feel about it now?”
When somebody reflects back to us our experience in their own words, we feel seen, we feel held.
Validation is truly magical. Try it out, I encourage you.
If you’re already good at it, give it some re-appreciation. Validation is a magical tool.
- Loving each other and growing together
Can we use certain tools together that we know will deepen our relationship?
This looks different in, say, your intimate partnerships or relationships that you have with a close friend than it looks like with maybe a colleague at work. Still, there are things that you can do with both that will deepen your relationship that will make it more meaningful.
One of them is empathic communication, part of which is the validating your experience from number two. Beyond that I can also clearly communicate my needs and separate them from impacts that somebody’s actions or words may have had on me. We’ve spoken about empathic communication before, so you can look up the previous article on that. I’ll link it.
Within within the growing together are rituals. Maybe it’s your magic cup of tea together, maybe it’s going to the movies, maybe it’s going for walks – whatever it is, something special that you cultivate together.
I have a wonderful friend who I’ve been on the most amazing outdoor adventures with. We’ll cherish those for the rest of our lives. I have another beautiful friend who very much likes good coffee and we celebrate making coffee and enjoying it. There are so many more things that we can turn into rituals and just be fully present with them as we do them.
Another powerful tool is eye gazing – that one may be reserved for your closer relationships. You could even try it with a friend who you haven’t spent much time with, to see how that deepens your connection. Looking into each other’s eyes for a minute without speaking.
Another one that i love is reappreciation you come across something, maybe a shirt that a friend gave you, maybe a mug that you received as a present at some point, you find old tickets somewhere that remind you of an event that you went to together. Send that person some reappreciation saying “I saw this today, thank you so much, I still love it” or “I thought of you – do you remember the time when we did this? Sending you a big hug!”
I love reappreciation to reconnect with friends frequently, and it only takes a few seconds.
If you want to go deeper into that, write them an appreciation list, make a love list for them. Shout-out to Sherry Richart Belul who has described this very well in her book “Say it now” – she gives away a free lovelist toolkit on her website (simplycelebrate.net) – I love her work.
I’ve been making many love lists in the past, appreciation lists – you describe what very specifically you admire about a person. The specifics are important, so instead of saying “I like you”, I will say “I like how your hair flows in the wind”, or “I like the expression of content on your face when you sip your coffee”, or “I love how you’re always on time”, or “I love how for no reason whatsoever you could ever be on time even though you’re working on it really hard”, or “I love the time when we went out for a picnic in the forest and it started raining on us”. Looking back at those special little moments. “I love that we both have so much fun going kayaking. And do you remember that time when we saw a rainbow?”
Those little special moments bringing all of those together can be such a treasure box.
I could go on and on here. There are so many beautiful tools that we can use to deepen our relationships. I don’t want to make this too long though so let’s summarize:
The message today for loving and accepting others is 1) see them new every day be fully present with them, 2) validate their experience, reflect back 3) grow deeper together in your relationship by rituals and by the dedicated use of tools.
I hope this has served you. Let me know your feedback let me know what resonates what has helped you, let me know what else you would like me to speak about.
I send you much love.
Keep showing up fully in the world.
And be love.