Self acceptance; over and over
Sorry this is a day late. I wasn’t sure if I would write anything this week, but something is niggling and I don’t know if it’s because I’m a creature of habit, and I don’t want to break this one, or if I really have something in particular I want to say. After a long, quiet, frustrating summer, things now seem to be moving and flowing more. (I tried to write a piece complaining about when things finally do happen, but couldn’t subject you decent people to that.)
In this energy which feels more flow-y, I don’t really know if anything is changing – and after a long time of feeling not much change at all, I am scared to believe that those long periods of having to be patient and waiting could really be coming to an end. But in all the action, change and flux I keep getting surprising glimpses into aspects of myself. At a job interview I was surprised that I felt more confident than I thought capable of, and even though I was nervous before it, I also felt excited and ready to speak up for myself.
In my rushing around trying to get things organised before leaving New York for a couple of weeks next Monday I became aware of my shortness with people. In the stress and panic, I couldn’t always find the gentle words and patience and energy for kindness with customers or staff or people walking by on the street. I also, in my panic, ranted and blamed my friends like a lunatic, when the truth was I was feeling scared and defensive and lashing out. I like to think of myself as a nice person but it turns out that sometimes I just really don’t have time or energy or much consideration for others.
Finally, after not being able to get in touch with my sister, who I really wanted to talk to for her birthday, I became aware that we haven’t really been in touch much at all for the past year and a half. I think I had been telling myself that she’s too busy or that she knows that I’m thinking of her but now I don’t know and can uncomfortably see how my lack of trying with her is pretty hurtful. And I feel really sorry for that.
It’s a humbling experience to realise how the idea of yourself, and how you actually come across can sometimes be very different, in good and bad ways. I’m trying to not be too hard on myself (trying) but instead I want to accept that I am not perfect and never will be. And I do want to be honest and don’t want to lie to myself or anyone else about who I am or pretend I’m better or worse than that. I think that effort to be perfect is really a common underlying pressure we all feel. And the pressure seems to come from this place where we are scared that we won’t be loved if who we really are – faults and all – is revealed. But self acceptance means accepting all the hard stuff as well as the good. Because it all makes up who we are – we are all good, bad, right, wrong, light, dark, capable of love and able to hate. And what else are we going to do and who else are we going to be, if not ourselves, warts and all?