After 43 years and 4 months I have finally decided that I quite like myself. Not that I can say I’ve spent all that time getting to know myself……
I can honestly say that I have spent 43 years looking outwards, comparing myself to other people and mistaking insecurity for love. It was just a few months ago that the breakthrough happened. I just decided enough was enough.
I turned inwards, took a deep breath and said “I am what I am”.
What I think has followed is a huge wave of acceptance. It’s swept away so much of the rubble that I was burying myself in. I was buried in fear and insecurity.
Now I can see a chink of light. And after all these years of bring a prisoner and not knowing it, I am rushing towards it. Just try and stop me.
Accepting the package deal
I’m sensitive. I am introverted. I get exhausted if my routine is disrupted. It recently took me a week to recover from a weekend away in the Cotswolds (a 90 minute drive from home), which my partner and I find quite hilarious. I am very untraveled – I can count the number of times I have been on a plane on one hand, including the return journeys. I hate parties, I’d much rather watch a film and cuddle up with my dog.
I have really mischievous curly hair which isn’t the same sort of curl all over and I have spent most of my life trying to straighten. I have loads of freckles, I burn really easily in the sun, suffer from hay fever and other allergies all year round and my feet are kinda quirky.
The fact that I am sensitive and introverted, despite the challenges, has made me what I am. The very qualities that I have found so hard to accept are leading me to my true path. I love to write really honestly from within and love expressing myself with music. I can listen to a beautiful piece of music and enjoy the sensation of the hairs on the back of my neck standing on end when others around me are not so affected.
My sensitivity manifests itself in creativity and love…….as well as hay fever and freckles.
No cherry picking
We have to accept ourselves in our totality. Acceptance has to be whole….or it won’t work. The acceptance has to become part of who we are. We either accept all…….the good and the bad bits……or we accept none. Acceptance has to become part of the very fabric of our being.
We have to laugh at our “imperfections” and “failures”. Celebrate our unique talents and endeavours. Rejoice in our individuality.
We can’t be everyone, everything and everywhere
A turning point for me has been accepting that we are just one human and part of a bigger a collective. I used to compare myself to other people and feel that my own life wasn’t as valid as theirs. I now realise that I have a special contribution to make to the world in my own way.
I used to date a very extroverted guy. He always wanted to be out and about constantly and took part in extremely energetic activities. I somehow felt that my own desire to be at home and just play my guitar and potter about was not as valid. It seems ridiculous to me now that I thought that way.
I have started to think of myself more as part of the team of humanity. We are all designed to play a part and we are all different for a good reason. The survival of the human race depends upon us having different skills and temperaments. And there is no one “player” who is more valid than another. It takes all sorts.
The challenge ahead
I have a very sensitive daughter. She is beautiful, talented and wonderful….but she doesn’t believe in herself. The thought that she also might spend the next 43 years working out that all she needs to do is turn inwards and accept herself in all her uniqueness is one that worries me greatly.
I hope that I can steer her onto the right path and just be there to help her along the way. She is 11 years old. She is just about to start secondary school. Everything is changing in her little world. There are going to be friendship issues to deal with, fear of not fitting in, not to mention a few teenage heart breaks to get over. All of this will be so much easier if she can learn to love herself.
If she can truly love herself and celebrate being she will be like a little magnet drawing equally amazing people towards herself. Of course she has to go through the learning curve like all of us. I just hope it doesn’t take her as long to get to where I am now.
Closing thought. In loving ourselves, we can truly love another
Once we are prepared to accept our selves in our entirety something rather magical happens. We can do the same to other people.
So instead of looking for Mr Perfect and analysing their every action, suddenly we are able to really Love another person. Of course we have to find someone who is compatible but once we have done that then we need to extend the process and accept and love them for all their so called “imperfections”. Truly rejoice in their individuality.
Falling for myself feels wonderful. Falling for another? Perhaps the sky’s the limit.
If this has resonated with you in any way please scroll on back up to the title and click the leave comment link. I’d love to hear from you.
With thanks to the wonderful photographers……
Photo credit : Amber Dancing
Photo credit: He who likes cherries….
Photo credit : Mother and daughter
My logo : Karen Gray Photography