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In the past, I put up with distasteful behavior by a friend, much longer than I should have, because I was “accepting others just as they are.” This was a common theme I came upon, as I was studying various philosophies in order to develop my personal values. During those early days, I thought that “accepting others just as they are” meant tolerating their disrespect and acting like it didn’t bother me. I can lovingly look back at my confused self, just as I would a young child trying to understand grammar. Accepting others just as they are doesn’t mean letting them abuse me, and I don’t have to tolerate embarrassing behavior that makes me feel uncomfortable. It means seeing my friends right where they are, on their soul’s journey, and not expecting them to be more evolved. We all learn and grow in our own individual way. I no longer put up with abusive or disrespectful behavior from those I associate with. Instead, I bless them, and visualize them being successful, happy, and following a peaceful path, while I gracefully leave the relationship.

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