I spend hours for days on end thinking about why people fall in love. And not just any love but the kind of love that lasts a lifetime—and here is one thing I know is true: Love without acceptance is an empty emotion.
Granted, showing acceptance to everyone I love can be a bit of a trick. I love people who don’t share my worldview. But on the matters that are deeply important to me—kindness, consideration, gentleness, loyalty—we are very much in sync. Focusing on those qualities in others allows me to accept.
By the way, offering acceptance to those I love helps keep some of my own more troubling qualities in check. Acceptance means I can’t judge, or try to control, or badger, cajole, bribe or numerous schemes to get those I love to do what I want. They are free to make their own decisions. I pray they are good ones . . . but even if they aren’t, I respect the right of those I love to make their own choices. And somehow, they always do. One way or another.