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R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Replacing Judgment with Acceptance


When you’re starting to feel a little bit enlightened and beginning to see what it’s like to live an authentic existence yet are wise enough to realize that it’s a continual process. When you have enough peace in your soul to exist in a happy plane most of the time, you may wonder: “What can I do to give back to the Universe? How can I continue my mission for an authentic life? What actions will make a difference?”

As you become more self-forgiving and accepting of yourself, affording the same respect to others, especially those with differing viewpoints, becomes your gift to the Universe. When you ask yourself, “What can I do? I’m only me, in my little world.” THIS: self-forgiveness and self-acceptance – given to others. THIS is what you can give.

Your journey is the gift you can share with others. Your experiences, your heartaches, your victories, your unfettered honesty about your struggles is what will give strength to others. Not everyone will relate to you, and that’s okay! Your energy released into the Universe will flow to those who are searching for what you are offering. It will require vulnerability and vulnerability is hard and scary!

In her incredibly insightful book, Daring Greatly, Brené Brown (2015) instructs that “Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path” (p. 34).

Vulnerability is to smile at the woman who you think is judging you. Perhaps she is really admiring you. Be fearless: smile at her, give her a compliment, be the one good thing in her life today. You have kindness and love – you can share. You have an inkling of a clue – you can share. You’re learning not to give so many f***s about sh** that doesn’t matter– you can share. It’s the glance, the comment, the positive energy that says, “I acknowledge you. I see you. I see that your struggles and insecurities are also mine. I give to you what I need – acceptance – acceptance of imperfection.” THIS – this is what you can give to others.

Acceptance of imperfection is freedom from judgment of yourself and others. It is the reward of wisdom learned at a cost. The cost of lost relationships and opportunities because of selfishness, immaturity, or insecurities. Acceptance comes through the efforts of striving for authenticity.

When you are living authentically, when you avoid judgment and instead share acceptance, you are practicing RESPECT. In the words of the familiar refrain, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me…take care…TCB”. Taking Care of Business (TCB) is affording yourself and others the respect you and they deserve. THIS is how you give back to the Universe.

Brown, B. (2015). Daring greatly: How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent, and lead. London: Penguin Life.

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