Last Sunday, during a spurt of surplus energy, I decided to clean out my file cabinet. Yes, I still have a file cabinet; in fact, I have two two-drawer files cabinets. I know this is supposed to be a “paperless” environment, but sometimes I feel the need to save an article of interest or a message of some import and I want to save the original. Admittedly, most of the folders and their contents were old, so it was easy to choose what to discard and what was meaningful enough to keep.
In a folder of “spiritual” pieces, I came across a yellowed newspaper article* in which the following piece was quoted from the book titled “Listening to the Littlest” written by Ruth Reardon.
ACCEPT ME –
for what I am
Not what I could have been
or even will be.
Acceptance must be present tense,
with no conditions,
and based upon reality.
If windows of your heart
must rosy- tinted be
you have not accepted me.
See me as I am without distortion
of your dreams…
A human being, beautiful, unique.
Free to grow according to the seed
Accept me –
so I need not twist myself
to fit your pattern…
But resting in acceptance,
This poem resonated with me for many reasons, the most important being the fact that my husband and I raised a “blended” family from the time they were four, five, seven and nine –three girls and a boy, the seven year old.We came together as the result of a traumatic event, the death of the mother of the little girl and her brother. This is not the time or place to go into all the family details (or maybe I’m just not up to telling the tale) but suffice to say, we needed a parental philosophy of a sort (as well as lots of professional guidance and support).This poem about acceptance and unconditional love could have been our mantra if we had known it back then. It was not easy, but it was well worth the time and effort and love we put into it.
The words, “accept me for what I am” is just as important today in all my personal relationships. I do have the tendency to sense the potential in most people and I have to watch myself so as not to project my vision onto the friend, acquaintance, or associate. On one occasion when I lost sight of this truth, I also lost a friend.
I hope you appreciate this poem as much as I do. Is the message meaningful to you? Let me know what you think; I’d love to hear from you.