What We Do for the Sake of Acceptance
Some things I've done to be accepted:
Bought clothes I couldn't afford. Said things I didn't believe. Laughed at jokes I didn't think were funny. Didn't speak up when I wanted to speak up. Gone along with ideas, plans I didn't want to go along with.
The list is much longer.
But it all amounts to this: I have walked away from myself in the name of being accepted by others.
Which really isn't acceptance anyway. Since if I'm accepted at all, it's not me that's accepted, but a role I'm playing.
It's a heartbreaking undertaking so many of us engage in. Especially given that we can't control what others think, feel, believe about us.
But where we do have some control is what we think, feel, believe about ourselves.
My work these days is to come into solidarity with myself. To be even more direct, my work is to accept myself. Because even if everyone and their mother did accept me, if I still don't accept myself, rejection is what I'll always come home to. And that's not much of a home.
We're rarely taught, shown, modeled how to accept ourselves, and there's no one-size-fits-all prescription. I've found, though, that if we start in little moments, they begin to add up.
Rubbing lotion onto our chapped heels. Calling ourselves honeybunch, love bug, sweet pea - whatever is caring and true for us. While waiting in line, standing tall within ourselves, rather than running from ourselves into our phone. We'll know it's right when we feel softer, kinder towards ourselves.
We can do so much for the sake of acceptance from others. But a more fulfilling aim is to do so much for the sake of accepting ourselves.