ADVICE

Mental Health | Looking inward to embrace what's outward

Honest self-evaluation is the key to accepting others. Photo: Shutterstock
Honest self-evaluation is the key to accepting others. Photo: Shutterstock

Compromise is an awkward and often uncomfortable necessity for those who seek to live a harmonious life.

One of the great difficulties we face as we make our way through life is encountering people whose beliefs and practices are at odds with our own. Stress and anxiety are the products of such encounters, but stress and anxiety affect only the sufferer.

As and of their own they contribute nothing of perceptible value. Disagreement so often brings distress and distress is self-destructive.

It takes an adjustment of opinion or a reduction in demand to find and identify an acceptable common ground ... agreeing to disagree but at the same time retaining respect. The good news is that compromise is not capitulation.

Honest self-evaluation is the key and should be the starting point. To be fully effective members of society it's necessary to know what it is that we believe and why it is that we believe it.

So many of us spend an inordinate amount of time looking beyond ourselves, seeking fault and failure in others.

It would be more constructive to spend at least some of that time looking inward, learning to know and, in knowing, learning to accept and love the person that we are.

Before we can hope to live with others we have to learn to live with ourselves.

  • Gary Bentley is a Rural Aid counsellor.