The Guiding Word in the Sisterhood for September is Self-Acceptance and it’s got my wheels turning hard-core.
I’ve been doing a lot of new inner discovery, noticing things about myself that make me laugh at how obvious it all is and making squirm at the same time.
Why squirm? Because for me Self-Acceptance is bringing up one very old story, one very old bullshit trigger: Can I? Am I allowed?
We all have our identities, subtle or not. We see ourselves as a set of traits, characteristics, things we’ve built into our personality or things others have defined for us. Identities can be as obvious as “entrepreneur” or “parent” or “partner”, the roles we play in our life and the lives of others. They can be based around the things we’re passionate about – “artist” or “hippie”. Or they can be as subtle as “the person who makes people laugh”, “the person who loves colorful things”, or even “a responsible person”.
These identities allow us to navigate this world, to give and receive, to learn and grow. But what happens when we want to act outside of our identities? When “the responsible one” suddenly realizes a deep aching to let go of those responsibilities and travel the world instead? When the parent suddenly realizes their deeper need for art that doesn’t include coloring books or interruptions?
I can’t tell you how many women I know – myself include – who pause or stop short of their/our whole dream for fear that it’s “not allowed”, too far outside their current identity, too scary to imagine how the world might respond (as if the world isn’t so wrapped up in its own bullshit to even notice).
But in doing so, we fail to accept ourselves fully – the constantly evolving self, the hidden self, the hungry self.
Often it’s fear of what others will think, that they will reject this person we are becoming (or wanting to become), that causes us hesitation or paralyzation. But in fearing rejection we guarantee rejection – of ourselves, by ourselves.
And then we wonder why we hurt, why we shrink, why we stagnate and suffer.
“The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.” – Mark Twain
Self-acceptance means accepting that we will constantly change.
It means accepting that our needs will change. That our ideas will change. That our ideas of Who We Are will change. And that constant evolution means never feeling done either.
It also means accepting that our world will change as we do. And that those in it will change as well.
And it means that in order to feel loved and accepted by the people in our lives, we must first BE our whole true selves – otherwise WE aren’t there to be love and accepted. Instead, we’re cast off in the corner before we even have a chance to experience the difference.
So yes, we will change. And our world will change. And it might mean people who aligned with one version of you might begin to fall away. And it might very well seem uncomfortable.
But as you become more aligned with you, and the world comes to know you as a person who evolves and embraces that evolution, and the right things and people for the real you start to fall into place, how can you feel anything but joy in that?