Love and Acceptance Are Chain Breakers

Posted by Kaley Thompson While brewing over how someone had hurt my friend, this quote by Wes Angelozzi popped up on my Instagram. “Go and love someone exactly as they are. And then watch how quickly they transform into the greatest, truest version of themselves. When one feels seen and appreciated in their own essence, one is instantly empowered.” Loving someone exactly as they are isn’t the easiest thing. Especially when “who they are” offends who someone we love is. Or who we are. So how do we radically accept someone? Why should we let someone feel seen and appreciated despite circumstances? As the People of the Second Chance Content Creator, sometimes I get stuck in a content creating rut. Where I don’t have too much to offer on a subject that I know could bring hope to that comeback kid looking for a restart. This radical acceptance thing is one of those. Because, quite frankly, I’m mulling over it myself. But I want us to hear and hold onto this concept because it’s transformational. So rather than giving you three steps or five how-to ideas, let’s just walk through it together with one simple thought.

And that idea is something a wise man once told me, “Those who victimize are also a victim.” Interesting concept that our enemies could actually be our frenemies. The Lucy to our Charlie Brown. The Whale to our Jonah. The rival that’s really our friend. Because this fight isn’t between two people, it’s inherited. Someone victimized our enemy who now victimizes us. Which means we are the end of the chain. We hold the power to continue or break the cycle of hurt. So let's shatter it.

Love and acceptance are the chain breakers. They rip apart the rings of rivalry by seeing past the hurt someone is causing to desire a healing for what caused the pain in them. It’s no longer you versus them. Them versus your friend. It’s that we’re all on the same team in this world where we’ve all been broken and caused brokenness. And we all need restoration and freedom from that.

Here’s how our fearless Second Chance leader, Mike Foster, talks about radical acceptance. "Let me use the amazing Jesus as an example here. Ok, so there was no one who has ever lived with more authority than him. He could have given perfect advice all day long. He knew everything. All the truth. All the nuggets. All the right things to say. But Instead of a bunch of advice, he gave life to people. He healed. He attended parties with broken people. He hung with the wrong crowd a bunch. And he always, and I repeat, always lead with love… It’s love that’s tough enough to hold back judgment even though it would be so easy to let it fly. Love that’s tough enough to embrace someone who’s still a mess.

Radical acceptance isn’t excusing people of their actions. It’s the reaction of “loving someone exactly as they are.” It’s transforming the life of someone causing pain by letting them know that their wound can heal. And, like kids playing in the mud, it’s finding beauty and celebration together in the mess.

Kaley Thompson is the chief storyteller at People of the Second Chance. She lives in Charlotte, NC and wears a sparkly motorcycle helmet.

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