Wanting that feeling of being approved/accepted comes from deep within our hearts, and it starts when we are very young.

I remember needing nothing more than to be accepted as a child, for who I was. It seemed my well-meaning parents were always wanting to make me into something different. A better, more-polished, more-polite, more-confident, more . . .  version of Chris.

It seems like it takes so much for us to shake off those old tapes and that old wiring and reach for something better, even if that something better is so spectacular as to be a higher power, whom I choose to call God.

We DO get some DO-OVERS in life. We get second chances to get acceptance in life. I get it in Al-Anon, around the tables,with God, and with the best sponsor in the whole, wide world. 🙂

At those meetings, I don’t have to pretend to be something I’m not. I don’t have to struggle for the right words, or say them in the right way. I can have an off day. No one is going to fault me for it. I can laugh, cry, get angry. I still get a hug at the end of the meeting.

Do I still work hard at changing myself, as this lovely cartoon by Cathy Thorne suggests? SOMETIMES. But it’s not so much big changes, because I think I have begun climbing this daunting mountain called Acceptance. I’m halfway there. 🙂

Until I get to the top, I can let OTHER people accept me the way I am . . . that, too, gets me there more quickly.

The thing is, I don’t think we can truly accept OTHERS unconditionally if we cannot do the same with OURSELVES. How are you doing?

Peace out.

10 Comments

  1. I’m not sure I agree with your conclusion. I’ve always found with both acceptance and forgiveness, it’s easier to do unto others. Nothing I ever did was good enough, which turned me into a perfectionist who is always hard on myself. I work at it, but it’s not easy. (It would be so much simpler if the person in the mirror matched the 130-pound inner memory I have of myself, you know? 😉 )

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    1. Yes but – even with submissions, you have to get to the point where you let them go into the world. We must accept them as “good enough,” or we will never let go. As an example. I let go of perfectionism a while ago when I decided I would never get there. Acceptance teaches me that what is in front of me is REAL, cannot be changed (if it can it doesn’t need to be accepted it needs to be changed), and it just is. There is no judgment of good or bad in acceptance. For me. 🙂 Don’t know if that helps, but I can TOTALLY understand what you are going through.

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  2. Its so true, as a child my mother thought she was doing the right thing by praising me and my sister for our best attributes; one brainy the other pretty but I think we ended up craving what the other had more, and maybe still do to this day. I think I should heed the cartoons advice a little more. Thanks for this great post.

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  3. Hi Christina,

    It’s great to find your blog in the April A to Z. I look forward to reading more posts.

    I’ve found it’s a lot less stress to accept things about yourself that you can’t change and work on the things you can. Then you can make progress.

    Look forward to more posts,

    Stuart

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    1. Stuart, that’s very true. Accepting the things we can’t change, and changing the things we can. Wise words. 😀
      -Chris

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