Since as early as pre-school it would seem that there is a desire for acceptance. A desire or perhaps a need to be part of the “group” that has some common goal, even if that is just to be the first on the playground or have the same favorite color or game.
Even more later in life I suppose, as we move into our adolescent years, there is a strong desire (maybe part of the hormones) to be accepted. Be part of a team or a clique, be accepted by the person(s) we romantically desire. Even for those anti-society “rebels without a cause” there is a reason to be accepted in a group.
There a likely hundreds upon thousands of academic books about this topic. I am sure that they all wrap things up into some human characteristic that is inherent in our DNA or something. Wonderful that so many pages can be written to draw up a conclusion about the whole thing of acceptance.
For us in the adult world – most of us are always in need of things like friendships, acceptance in our work spaces with our peers and the boss, relating to others on all sorts of levels on topics from crafts to politics.
There is one place that isn’t often part of that equation as it should be in my view: church. A place where all people are seeking acceptance, and looking for others that see that opportunity to be accepted as well. Just talking about the gathering of people- not the building, but the church as a collective of people who believe that the mission is to continue to extend the hope, spirit and faith. Surrounding yourself with people who have the same perspective can become refueling for the soul.
I think that the first step to positively appreciate your acceptance, is to recognize and accept the spiritual guidance that is inside of you, and accepting yourself first.
I tell my kids to focus on knowing what you need and why you think you need it. Learn to be yourself if you want to be accepted by others. If you don’t know who “you” are – how are you going to gain acceptance from others? how can you even to accept others?