I know I structure most of my posts in the same way, and this one is no exception…”here is what I used to do, here is what I have come to see about that, and here is how I have shifted.” That is the model of my life lately and I hope that it continues that way! I want to keep seeing that which has kept me from being my true self and I keep getting more and more surprised about how much more there is to me, the real me, than I ever imagined or dared to dream!
For most of my life, okay, for all of my life except for the past 3 days, I always wanted to belong. I always looked outside of myself for a place to belong, for someone to accept me, even a stranger. I have some extreme examples of things I have done in my relatively short life to be accepted and I’m sure that most of us have done some similar, possibly more or less extreme, things!
In order to be accepted, belonged or loved, I have:
- checked all around while driving to see what speed others have put their windshield wipers and put mine at the same (now I happily put them at whatever speed I happen to think would be beneficial, even if it is faster than others!)
- considered removing the cellulite from the backs of my legs with a knife (that was a dark moment in high school, fortunately after the thought passed through my awareness, I immediately knew it was wrong)
- covered up parts of my body that others told me were too big
- tried to be the best at everything, even becoming way too competitive (and even sometimes mean when I was playing basketball later in high school and in college), and losing myself in the world of school and teachers, to be the best, to get noticed, to have a place, to feel like I belonged somewhere.
- shaved my legs because everyone else did
- gotten drunk because everyone else did
- gossiped, judged and criticized others because everyone else did
- and the list goes on
In the past few days, I had a conversation with a friend and we were talking about our lives and he was telling me he is working on accepting things that have happened in his life. I smiled and agreed, because it is wonderful, but I told him that I wondered if you could accept things when there was still so much anger and sadness inside. We chatted for quite a long time and then I came home. It was only that night that what he said really hit me and I got it: what if I accepted MYSELF truly, fully and completely?
What if I did that?
Would I still need to belong somewhere outside of myself, would I still care about what others think and try to fix/adjust myself for them?
Would I still long for my parents to love me and see me the way I want them to?
It was a moment of huge realization for me. I was lying in bed and I put my hands on my heart and I said out loud, “I accept myself,” and I got a huge wave of goosebumps, so I said it again, “I accept myself, I belong right here.” It was so profound, it felt like the most profound and soul penetrating thing I had ever done. It was like this huge weight lifted off of me and I accepted myself instead of always looking outside of me for a sense of belonging and acceptance. I was even able to thank my parents from my heart for the gift they gave me in my life, the way they parented me eventually got me to the realization that I didn’t need them to accept me, but if I could accept myself, all would be well! It was a brilliant, open and loving moment!
I was so pleased, so happy that I finally was able to get to that point. I had accepted myself and I felt the shifts happening inside me over the next few days as that wonderfully loving message sunk in to every cell in my body. I won’t have to look outside of me for someone to agree that I belong here or for them to accept me. I could love myself first and all would come from there! I wonder if I’ll start dancing in the streets? Maybe or maybe not, but now I can sing loudly in my car, even at a red light, and I can teach my children’s classes and know that I am perfect just the way I am, and I can parent more from my heart and be more true to myself than ever before. How about that, eh? I’ve always heard that, the answer is in you, the power is in you, it is really awesome to have a chance to experience that from within with the self-love and acceptance I found the other night.