I'm writing you today because I want to invite you, right now, in this moment, to take a deep breath and accept yourself for who you are NOW. Love who you are right NOW. Not when you lose the weight, or get the job, or make partner, or graduate, or whatever else you are used to believing. It both breaks my heart and makes me feel not alone that I'm not the only one who struggles with this. I've been reading this book called "The Gifts of Imperfection" by Brene Brown and it's making me see things in a whole new way. That deep, gut-swirling, red-faced, hot and sweaty way that is an indication that I am changing. Growing pains, if you will.
Read on if you feel the same as me - trying to spread those wings and break out of the cocoon, or the bittersweet pain of a seed blossoming into a flower.
So, I gave myself permission today, for the first time, to not respond to an email that I got which got me super riled up, and just let it go, and let myself sit with it. Since it was family, the pain ran deep and everything in me ached to just be accepted, though it meant going against my own well-being and doing things that didn't feel right. I also reached out to a friend of mine during the whole encounter and asked for help, which was a new and huge step for me. I usually feel like I should just be able to "suck it up" and be strong enough to power through when things make me feel all discombobulated. I hide, I retreat, I take it out on myself. This time was different, and it was such an amazing experience. My friend texted back and forth with me while I talked about all the nasty thoughts and feelings, and helped me break down the shame I was feeling, because shame cannot exist when it is shared - it is healed by human connection.
Another wonderful thing I learned in the book today is that there's a difference between "fitting in" and "belonging". "Fitting in" is when you change who you are to be accepted - we do this because our human nature craves connection. "Belonging" is when you show your true self, who you really are, and are loved and accepted anyway. Huge difference ... I didn't even know what "belonging" meant, I'm so used to "fitting in". Anyway, that blew my world open and got me inspired to live a more honest, authentic life and release the need to please people when it means that I need to change who I am or swallow what I believe. It got me inspired to set even more boundaries with people, and made me see that I am worthy of love and connection, no matter what my story is, what I've done, what I've been through. It's so easy to be ashamed of things we think make us unlovable, yet these are the very things that can create close and intimate relationships. So, it's definitely a risk, but a risk worth taking. I've already started with some of this work in my own life and can say 100% that is making such a difference.
So, again, I invite you, right now, in this moment, to take a deep breath and accept yourself for who you are NOW. No matter what other people think. If they can't accept you for who you really are, it's not meant to be - let them go with love. And just know that the person you are deserves and is totally worthy of being loved, taken care of, and treated with care and compassion. I've tried to fight this for years, but I can't escape the fact that we can't love anyone else more than we love ourselves, and we can only allow other people to love us as much as we love ourselves. So, it's where we must begin - the most difficult place, but the most rewarding.
We can look the same on the outside yet on the inside can be completely different. When I compare myself to the person I was even a year ago, I barely recognize parts of me, and see how much I have grown and changed. When there are people in our lives that have known us for years, especially family, it may be difficult for them to accept the "new" you. It's tough because you feel like you're doing something wrong, you feel guilty, etc., I know because I've felt it. Do your best not to let this discourage you from your journey. Only you get to decide who you want to be - it's your life after all! Know that I've got your back and that I feel you every step of the way. This journey isn't all rainbows and butterflies, but it's really the only way to find truth and love. If someone likes you for who you pretend to be, they really don't love you, do they?
Do you ever change who you are to try to fit in? Can you relate to this? I'd love to know how you feel.
All my love,