In between
May 24, 2013 by
Categories: Acceptance, Human

“The potter forms the clay into jars, but their usefulness depends on the enclosed space”.– Tao Te Ching

Image by romymav

Image by romymav

So much of our life is lived around structure. It provides a framework for us to feel comfortable and in control. The framework can be anything from our daily schedule and habits to the stereotypes we have of others. We rely so much on the framework, we tend to not question it and we tend to forget the importance of the space that the framework encloses.

Let’s take the example of self. Take a moment and consider this question: How do you describe yourself? Most likely the first words that come to mind are male or female, maybe skinny or fat, fit or out of shape, tall or short, liberal or conservative, or any other number of descriptors of your frame. But what about the space inside your frame? What about your love? Your relationships? Your passions? Your ability to be human? Your value?

Let’s examine the question from another perspective: How would you describe the person next to you? What is the value of their space? Are they worth your unconditional acceptance? Are they worth going beyond the framework you imposed on them, and exploring the space within?

I admit that I’m not perfect at this. It’s hard for me to explore and appreciate the space of someone when my framework says that their beliefs and actions cause others pain or injustice. But this is something that I’m working on in my personal life. I’m able to do this much more when I’m aware of my own framework, and appreciate the space within.

Our true value lies within that space. I have people in my life that are masters at seeing and appreciating that space, and even they struggle at times. But I believe seeing that space generates acceptance and respect not only for ourselves, but for other people as well.

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