Whom am I going to choose to love unconditionally this year, to the best of my ability, no matter what happens?
As the author of the article for Oprah.com explains, this translates as simple acceptance. You have to suspend judgment and “see” the person as a whole without trying to change them. I think my challenge this year is a family member. I also think that this can be done with or without changing the relationship. I could just as easily change myself and have them be completely unaware of changes to the relationship.
My family member has been and brings this to other family relationships. She offers advice and assistance from that standpoint. She expects that advice to be heard and acted on. If it isn’t, she’s done with the situation. When she’s not the only one giving advice and her input doesn’t “win,” she imbues the other advisor with both power and responsibility: Your advice CAUSED her actions and now all outcomes are your responsibility.
The other side of this is that she’s trying to “take care” of everyone rather than just being caring. Being caring is admirable and “taking care” of everyone starts there, but then expands into validation and control. Lectures and ultimatums result. My resolution is to try to see the caring but still maintain respect for the opinions and choices of others, including hers.