October 26th: Acceptance
One of the concepts I have struggled with more than almost anything else is the idea of loving myself, as I am, right here and now, no matter the circumstance.
I mean, how could I love myself knowing the shitty, awful things I’ve done in this lifetime? How could I love this moody, foul-mouthed, selfish mess in this chubby body, in this dirty house? Really, how? Everywhere you look, you see quotes about how you must love yourself before you can truly love anyone else, but no one tells you how the hell to get there, do they?
Well, let’s break it down over the next couple of days, shall we? I’m going to start where it began for me, with acceptance.
Acceptance is a word they throw around a lot in recovery, but as with most things, I had to get there on my own. One day, when I was tired of beating myself up and tired of rehashing all the bullshit I’d pulled over the past however many years, and, most importantly, I stopped adding new shit to the pile, I just came around to accepting it.
That was who I had been. Those were things I had done.
This is who I am now.
Imperfect as can be, I am still better than I was, and improving all the time. Sure, sometimes it’s one step forward, two (or three, or four) steps back…but most of the time, it’s not.
Sure, I’m still moody, and foul-mouthed, and chubby and messy…but so what? One of the things that hit me, when I was working on self-acceptance, was that I was trying to look at myself from the outside, as if I could judge myself by the way I assumed other people were judging me. This is impossible, of course, because A) I have absolutely no idea what anyone really thinks of me, I am not that powerful. And B) Most of the time, people are far too busy worrying about themselves to think about me at all.
Of even greater importance though, is this: WHO CARES? Who cares what anyone else thinks about you or your life or your past transgressions? It LITERALLY does not matter. It just doesn’t. If you go around trying to be someone pleasing to everyone you run across, you are going to be very tired and very confused.
I accepted that I am who I am. I accepted that not everyone would love me. I accepted that as a fact, and let it be okay. Sure, sometimes I do find myself longing to change someone’s mind about me, wishing they could know me now, that I could impress them with the person I’ve become…but the people who matter, who love me and who are in my life- and this includes myself, these days- they stuck around and they know. And so, I get right back into accepting what is.
Today, I want you to try accepting yourself exactly as you are, without exception. No beating yourself up, no putting yourself down, no wishing you were any other way than how you are. I know, I know…it feels awful and unnatural, doesn’t it? But it’s the only way to get to the next step, forgiveness, which is what we will talk about tomorrow.