How to Stop Accepting Less Than You Deserve

I'll admit, it's been easy to find a sliver of wisdom from my latest spiritual read and apply it to my personal life when it's convenient. I remember being so frustrated, tapped out and over a specific trying situation until I read one of my trusted books and suddenly I'd have a change of heart.

You know the age old story of, "this guy I've been seeing is totally taking advantage of my time and energy- F*&^ him", suddenly turns into I shouldn't have expectations. I need to just let it be. I need to practice acceptance and love him for who he truly is.

Does this sound familiar?

This happens with friendships, too. We have friends who've been in our lives forever, no exaggeration since some of these friends have been in our lives since we've learned to crawl. Situations like these tend to warrant free passes allowing all sorts of unacceptable behavior. "But we've been friends since Kindergarten!" or "she always does that, that's just how she is, I've come to accept it."

Hold up, it's time to pump the brakes. Acceptance in this form is equivalent to settling. Essentially, you're stating I am willing to settle for what does not feel good to me. That is NOT the acceptance our great spiritual teachers wrote about.

Acceptance is no longer wishing something was different or resisting the truth, it's accepting what is. However, this acceptance doesn't imply that we should accept everything into our lives and welcome chaotic and destructive energy without question.

My attempt to accept that which didn't serve me was only part of it. The misuse of wisdom continued in regards to expectations. I've been one to express my expectations, I see them as personal standards and guidelines. However, I have been called out for having expectations or expecting too much and quickly went onto judge myself for doing so. After judging myself, I've sat with this spiritual idea of releasing expectations and I've since come to the conclusion that I reserve the right to hold standards for my life a.k.a expectations, in all areas. Guess what? You do, too!

We have a beautiful power that's often forgotten, this power shapes our life and it's our power of choice. Each choice I make shapes my life, that's an incredible thing. What we mustn't do is hold others to expectations to live a certain way along their personal journey. We must allow everyone the freedom to exercise their power of choice.

Here's the critical piece, while I do not hold expectations of your behavior on your personal journey, I do honor my personal expectations, standards of conduct if you will, of those close to me. I expect a certain level of reciprocity, and of course I expect integrity and respect. It seems paradoxical, but it's not. We have control over our experience, we mustn't attempt to control another's experience. When their experience is interfering with ours, then we observe and disengage if necessary.
I realize you may or may not consider this sort of preference as being judgmental, for I once considered it judgmental. I don't call this judgment, I call it discernment.

Discernment is the recognition that something is no longer good for me and choosing to remove it from my experience.

With this understanding we are allowing others to be free, we are forgiving and perhaps loving from afar but we are making our wellbeing paramount. We are not resisting what is, therefore we are accepting. We are allowing others to make the choices they wish to make, therefore no expectations of them, however we are not required to invite all of their personal choices into our experience.

We deserve preferences. We deserve to choose what feels wonderful and what doesn't. Reserve the right to choose self-love and honor your personal standards at all times.

As we move forward into a new day and soon a new year, let's be mindful of our happiness, making our preferences a priority.

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