Dear Spiritual Partner,
The difference between
acceptance and tolerance is the difference between authentic power and pursuing external power. Acceptance is open
heartedness. What you accept moves through your life without resistance. You do not withhold your love. You live
free in a beautiful
open meadow, and what you accept is in the meadow with you, close,
Tolerance is judgment. It is a defensive stance. You think that you will not be able to change someone, and you decide to tolerate him rather than to try to change him. When you decide to be polite in order to preserve peace in your family, for example, you are tolerating a family member. You would prefer not to interact with her, but interactions are unavoidable.
Acceptance comes from
loving parts of your personality. Tolerance comes from frightened parts of your personality. Your judgments remain. They are the reasons for your tolerance. When you tolerate others, you tolerate yourself and your life at the same time. When you accept others, you accept yourself yourself and others at the same time. Moving from tolerance of your life to acceptance of it, from judgment of your life to
gratitude for it, requires recognizing when frightened parts of your personality are tolerating in fear and when loving parts of your personality are accepting in
love, and choosing love.
Acceptance does not mean becoming passive, or living a vanilla flavored life without initiative or creativity. You cannot challenge a frightened part of your personality without experiencing its pain - for example, the pain of not having the last word in a power struggle. Acceptance allows you to experience where you are in the moment, but it does not require you to stay there when you are in fear. It enables you to experience the painful emotions of frightened parts of your personality so that you can challenge them and the
blissful emotions of loving parts of your personality so that you can cultivate them.
This creates authentic power.