The Science Behind Why We All Want to Be Accepted
Look around. It’s no secret that many people are vying for attention.
Colored hair. Piercings. Expensive clothing. A totally muscular body.
Tattoos or a luxury car. A huge home, kids who are worshipped.
There are all kinds of ways we get others to say, “Look at me!”
Even this, just a blog, innocent though it may be, is a way to grab attention:
It whispers, I have something to say, and I want you to listen.
I want you to…
All humans want to be accepted.
They don’t want to be abused.
They don’t want to be ignored.
They don’t even want to be tolerated.
Deep down, what we all want is true love, the real kind, the good kind.
The kind of love that says, I see that you’re what the world calls different, and I love you just the same.
The kind of love that says, you’re normal, and I know there’s really no such thing.
The kind of love that says, I will stick by you come hell or highwater, and we will make it through.
The kind of love that says, I created you, came down for you, and gave up all my glory just for you.
The kind of love that says, skin is skin and circumstances are circumstances, but your soul is what I see.
What’s funny is, when we know that something isn’t for us, it’s hard for us to accept that kind of love, isn’t it?
When we’re hurting someone else by our words or actions, it’s hard to accept that love.
When we’re choosing to malign our own souls, it’s hard to accept that love.
When we’ve been so low that we see nothing but darkness–or when we’ve been so high the pedestal is waiting to topple–it’s hard to accept that love.
Humans aren’t meant for the high highs or the low lows. There’s a reason we were told not to eat from the proverbial tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
We’re not meant to be beaten down.
But we’re not meant to be worshipped, either.
It’s why the severely abused and the psychotically adored tend to behave the same.
We’re meant to meander through the gray area, the color that makes us think.
It’s in the gray that we look up.
It’s in the gray that we lean on others.
And that’s where we find our peace, in the looking up and the looking around, the reaching high and the reaching out, the singing and the serving.
Science tells us this is so:
Recent research suggests yet another way our well-being can benefit from practicing pro-social behavior: helping others regulate their emotions helps us regulate our own emotions, decreases symptoms of depression and ultimately, improves our emotional well-being.psychologytoday.com, “In Helping Others, You Help Yourself”
What I’ve found in my own life is that empathy is the path to inclusion.
When I place my feet in the shoes of another–rich, poor, black, white, gay, straight, religious, non-religious–I’m better able to understand who they are.
Understanding who they are always seems to lead me back to my Creator.
And the road to my Creator leads me right back home to my heart, where He dwells within.
How are you finding ways to include others? In this crazy world, it’s nice to feel wanted and loved.