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Acceptance rnny

Posted by Dinah on April 5, 2010, at 6:59:27

In reply to Re: please rephrase that again (Willful), posted by rnny on April 5, 2010, at 1:07:17

> So I include myself with the mentally ill people I distain.

That can't be a very comfortable way to feel. Do you think that trying to cultivate a generosity of spirit and acceptance of others might help you feel generously and accept yourself? Or that trying to cultivate a generosity of spirit and acceptance of yourself might help you feel generously and accept others?

I hesitate to say how picky I am about choosing friends because friendship isn't simply an either-or. There are many degrees of friendship, and I don't think I have a dividing line between friend and acquaintance. I try to enjoy people for whatever aspect of their character I find interesting or inspiring or amusing or whatever. And to not expect of them anything more than they are able to give. I try to trust with common sense. And even if I perhaps need to guard myself with people who aren't able to be what I might wish they could be to me, that doesn't mean I can't appreciate what they are. It doesn't mean that I would exclude them as friends.

Nor do I really have a cutoff between "mentally ill" and "not mentally ill". "Normal" people come with their own issues. If I find myself having to choose between the "normal" and the neurotic, I think I'd probably choose to be with the neurotic. The anxious, those who know what it means to be depressed.

I don't like what your therapist said at least in part because it wasn't a very supportive thing to say to someone who struggles themselves. Sure, you may be appealing and smart and trying hard. But so are many of the others your therapist wrote off as not worthy of being friends. That doesn't speak of the sort of generosity of spirit and acceptance I'd like to see in a therapist. And despite the outward compliment in it, there's a backhand insult in it as well. Does she tell others to avoid people with issues as well? People who might include you? If another therapist said the same thing to a client, wouldn't they be warning them off against you?

It would be inviting pain to expect more from anyone than they are able to give or to trust people more than they can be trusted. It would be a great loss to fail to value what those people *can* offer.

People are people. Whether they struggle with mental illness or not. I think what a lot of people in this thread and the other are saying is that those people can be enjoyed for the inherently valuable people they are. Everyone is, at their core, worthy of respect and caring. People with more serious mental illness. People who fall in the neurotic range of mental health issues. "Normal" people.





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