Happy New Year! I hope your holidays were joyous.
I’ve got an article today that will help you level up your power. Related, I want to first announce the upcoming live course, Claiming Self-Authority: Access to Authentic Power, which begins January 7, 2021.
If you’ve considered becoming a member and want to start 2021 powerfully, this is an opportunity.
Today, I want to talk about a culturally accepted belief that severely limits our power: the misguided idea that we should be accepted for who we are.
I recently discovered that I was lied to for my entire life, and it was both devastating and liberating. I won’t go into the details here. When I confronted my betrayers, who thought they did the right thing by withholding an important truth, one of their many defensive cries was, “Accept us for who we are!”
Have you ever wondered where this popular idea comes from? It’s a long story, but I’ll be as concise as I can. It’s a call for unconditional love, which is one of the most misguided concepts in our world.
All of us long for total and absolute acceptance, love, and understanding, despite the fact that no human being has ever given it to us. We pine for this because as aspects of the Divine, we accurately intuit that there is a frequency of Reality where we can enjoy this kind of love.
The problem is that most people haven’t done the work necessary to experience Divine Love. To access It (usually) takes serious commitment and dedication. What I call “Unconditioned Love” is right here, right now, always, and for most people, it’s a serious challenge to access. It’s also the greatest thing you can ever work for.
Rather than doing this psychospiritual work, however, most seek to approximate and substitute that Love in easier ways, and adopt the distorted value of “unconditional love” with other people who are forever defined by and living in a world of conditions themselves. Even the love of a parent for their child is conditional, because the fact that the child is their child is a condition. The parent loves their children, not others. There’s nothing unconditional about it.
The parent chooses to make “sacrifices” in their own self-interest that fit the set of conditions before them: they want to be a good parent, express their love, be loved by the child, etc. These may be noble conditions, but they are conditions regardless.
Even when we are generous with love, it doesn’t mean we ignore the need for consequences. When people we love do wrong, uncomfortable conversations happen. When people commit crimes, there are consequences. The conditioned realm in which we live includes cause and effect. If you don’t do your job well, you get fired. You would never plead with your boss, “Accept me for who I am and let me keep the job.”
Your boss might say, “I do accept you for who you are, that’s why you’re losing this job. Who you are at this moment can’t do it.” There are consequences for everything we do and don’t do in this world. That’s one of the main reasons it’s a challenge.
When people cry, “Accept me for who I am,” almost always what they are actually saying is, “Don’t hold me accountable for my current limits and pressure me to grow.” This excuse is weak, but also understandable. As infants, ideal parents would have accepted us as we were.
When our parents don’t give us the acceptance we need, that unmet, healthy dependent need becomes an adult, unhealthy codependent need, and we look for that lost acceptance in places it isn’t (in other people), instead of in ourselves and the Divine.
A quick side note: what I talk about as possible with the Divine has nothing to do with belief. It’s something you experience directly, and is why I created Mediation For Awakening, to help people access Unconditioned Love direct from the Source.
Leadership 101 is that you meet people where they are. We must accept people as they are at first, and then not. This is the governing dynamic of change. It begins with a “Yes” and ends with a “No.” You don’t get better at anything accepting yourself as you are and leaving it at that. This is how we evolve and it sometimes requires a big “And” that few people manage.
We don’t give gold medals to athletes that tried hard and lost. We don’t pay nice plumbers that fail to fix the leak. The lowest-performing salespeople don’t get bonuses. You don’t get your driver’s license if you roll through a stop sign.
We would never cry “Accept them for who they are” about the serial killers, genocidal dictators, and rapists of our world, would we? Yet it’s true that these people are doing the best they can with their childhood wounding (which is usually horrific and under-reported to caretake the shame of their parents).
We cannot pick and choose whom to accept for who they are and whom not to, you see? Where do we draw the line? Shall we accept white-collar criminals, but not murderers? Shall we accept the teenage shoplifter but not the armed bank robber? The criminally insane vs. the greedy? Is Bernie Madoff deserving of more compassion than Ted Bundy because he destroyed people financially rather than physically?
When you cannot make the “And” that joins the “Yes” of Reality-acceptance and the “No” that demands change, you live inside an ethical dilemma that cannot be resolved because it’s based on a faulty premise that makes acceptance look like an “Either-or” instead of an “And.” The alternative, I assert, is that:
Everyone is doing the best they can and everyone can do better given the right kind of motivation and pressure.
So when my betrayers pleaded with me to accept them as they are: ignorant, weak, fear-driven people who care more about comfort than truth, I accept that Reality. I accept that in their shoes, with their conditioning, wounding, limited consciousness, and bad advice, I would have done the same thing.
And, at the same time, I assert the objective truth that what they did was a mistake they now must face. They now have the opportunity to evolve beyond the frightened children they were. But they’re not interested, and this is the failure.
I can forgive any mistake from a place of acceptance. What I do not forgive is a refusal to learn from it, because it is exactly this resistance that is the cause of every societal problem with which we suffer. In this way, we can summarize:
The attempt to accept people as they are without accountability commensurate to the mistake is stagnative codependence that puts comfort above truth and is destroying our species.
The attempt to change people without first accepting who they are is heartless, invalidates the reality of the subject, and therefore doesn’t work.
I often think the epitaph on the gravestone of humanity one day ought to read: “Human Beings: They did the best they could.”
Is it not observable that accountability is a part of life? Does Life pardon the weak zebras and save them from being eaten by lions? Does Life keep your house plants alive when you forget to water them because you have “good intentions?” Does Life excuse humans for burning oil or mass-producing plastic without considering the consequences?
The avoidance of consequences and the cry for unconditional acceptance is not only weak and immature, but insofar as it goes against the principles of Life Itself, it’s anti-spiritual.
Most people think “To err is human, to forgive, Divine,” right? We think of Jesus’, “Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.” He freed the adulterous woman from an excessive and gruesome execution, but let us not throw the baby out with the bathwater. He also angrily turned over the tables of the money-lenders operating in the temple.
Contrary to popular western belief, Jesus did not advocate for forgiveness as the total absence of consequences. He called for a more careful and sophisticated look at justice (like not killing people for adultery). He saw how easy it was to either over-accept or under-accept, as we tend to swing from one side of the pendulum to the other, unduly influenced by our emotions. Forgiveness is Divine…so is accountability, when the two are balanced properly.
Let’s take this one step further: a mature human being not only accepts the consequences of their actions, but wants them as a means for their own evolution. Only teenage consciousness slip-slides and wriggles out of the lessons that confront them. A mature person wants consequences for their actions even if they don’t feel good, because they have a higher consciousness that knows it’s good for them in the long run.
Related to this, I am not a victim of the aforementioned betrayal. I can see clearly how this lifelong lie was instrumental to forge me into a zealot for truth, and I love that quality in myself. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
I somehow always sensed this lie and it made me hypersensitive to the gap between the insides and the outsides of people, which I now use professionally every day. This fundamental lie sent me on a lifetime of truth-seeking and made me who I am today. Do you see the “And”? It was wrong and it was exactly what I needed. If I can do that, then my betrayers are responsible to attempt, “We did the best we could and it wasn’t enough.”
In the grandest perspective, it seems again and again that everything is perfect, but we don’t only live in that rarefied frequency of consciousness, and to try is futile escapism.
There is no escaping how cause and effect conspire to make us evolve, and for us to find our greatest and most authentic power, we must be able to navigate these realms with sophistication, care, and responsibility rarely seen in this world.
And if we don’t? There surely will be consequences that I welcome.
Lastly, if you’re dying of curiosity to know my story, I’m doing a talk about it and can send you the link to the video. Just reply to this email and ask. It would offend my sense of truth to keep it from you.
In the upcoming course, Claiming Self-Authority: Access to Authentic Power, I’ll help you process the unconscious material that keeps you a smaller version of yourself. And you guessed it: it includes accepting you where you are, and then inspires you to be more than you ever dreamed you could be. We begin eleven powerful weeks on January 7. I hope to see you there.
Here’s to an honest, authentic, and empowered 2021.