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Friendship: Acceptance But Not Resignation

By Andrew Burgon / phoenix@projectfellowship.com
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October 29, 2013


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coming to terms, finding acceptance

Coming to terms with something can be very liberating, refreshing and can enable you to continue on with your endeavor with less stress.

Cathy Yeulet / 123RF Stock Photo
 

One Way to Find Acceptance is to Earnestly Beat a Path to it’s Door

Some people have a hard time accepting the way their social world is. The underwhelming response from people when they extend their hand of friendship. Friends that don’t reciprocate. Friends who suddenly submerge or persistently sail off the radar. That bosom buddies can be so amazingly difficult to find and that people always seem to gravitate towards others and not themselves.

Some people give up. Others continue to befriend people but experience a lingering dissatisfaction concerning friendships in their life. While I have found many ways to improve my chances of bringing quality friendships into my life I felt a while ago that acceptance was also important. Accepting the way things are. The way people are. The way I am.

The Day of Acceptance

On Sunday, April 24 2011, the day of acceptance had come. It came quietly in the afternoon surprising me. A bit like walking into a room not realizing that a guest is waiting to see you. It was profound and I felt different from that moment on. I could accept the persistent nature of my social world and I was at peace with it. Not only mentally, but in every fiber of my being.

A few moments later I felt as though I had been doused with a 100 gallons of water and that steam was arising from my body. I took this to mean that my boundless enthusiasm for friendships, the efforts I had gone to, the struggles I have been through had created a lot of ‘heat’ and acceptance had cooled me down. For the next three days, I had no desire whatsoever to go out and meet with friends. It’s like I was under the influence of a heavy sedative.

Four months later and I still felt different. Far more relaxed than I have been in many years. I have always enjoyed quiet and solitude but I find myself enjoying it so much more now. I’m also enjoying other areas of my life more and I guess that’s because I’m not sorely distracted by my quest for friends as I was before.

Acceptance is a kind of internal lubricant that greatly reduces friction. By friction, I mean all those things in the friendship domain that can annoy and frustrate ourselves. They act like little metal pieces that fly around causing us to be uptight, angry and depressed. With acceptance, you can power on in your search for friends in a way that seems comparatively effortless than before.

I Found Acceptance Because I Pursued it.

More importantly, I wish to talk about some of the things that happened that enabled me to come to terms with my social situation and accept the things that bothered me. The first was acknowledging I needed to find acceptance and asking myself how it could be achieved. I seeded that question in the forefront of my mind, mentally attached importance to it and dwelled on it. Every now and then when this question automatically arose I dwelled on it some more.

The next was realizing that there are so many things conspiring against friendships from happening especially good friendships. One of the first things I did when I started to deal with depression many years ago was writing a long, thoughtful list of obstacles that get in the way of friendship. I found it beneficial. It helped me take the sting out of people’s disinterest, lack of reciprocation and not to take it so personally. Over a period of several months, I remember paying a little more attention to what’s getting in the way of certain friendships in my life. In doing so, the penny finally dropped big time.

The most important thing was actively continuing my search for friends and distinctions on the subject of friendship.

Recently I felt that both my experiences in the two Project Fellowships I have undertaken had merged providing me with a very solid, visceral sense of my social landscape, what people are like and what I am like. My 30circle had helped ground me to reality and helped me achieve clarity. Something I would never have been able to do if I had of reacted to the world, spat the dummy and lived a cloistered life.

I really got to know myself better. For a starters, I found that my enthusiasm, initiative and level of desire for friendships are quite high when I compare it to many other people. I also became aware of a hierarchy of sorts where you have people who don’t particularly feel the need for friendship to those who have a strong desire for them. I realized then that if I am operating from a high social nature I can’t expect others to respond to me in the same fashion.

Acceptance but not resignation. While I’m able to accept things the way they are I will keep pressing on till I find the group of friends who desire and value my company.

Has anyone else looked for and found acceptance? If you have anything beneficial to say please comment below.
 
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