“There is no way to genuinely, powerfully, truly love yourself while crafting a mask of perfection. I know, you know, we all know—it’s hard to let your pimples and your flaws be seen. It’s hard to stumble and bumble. It’s hard to not know the right things to do or say. It’s hard to not look like TV.
Sometimes, it’s really hard for me to be the awkward mess that I am when I’m authentic, instead of having runway authenticity—all natural, but flawless. But every time I allow that to be okay, not just around myself but around others—I affirm something to myself. I affirm, to myself more than anyone else, that I am lovable and acceptable unconditionally. I affirm that it’s okay to take on and take in all the flavours and hues of human experience, and not just the ones that are acceptable in this culture, in this time, in this place.
And that kind of acceptance, that kind of love—that’s the kind of love that creates miracles. That’s the kind of love I really need. That’s the kind of love that makes approval taste like cardboard.”
Today as I read posts from my Facebook friends, I had some of the same thoughts I’d had for years.
Without this type of social connection, would I ever have had a connection or a re-connection with some of these people?
Many I reach out to every day have become such important parts of daily routine. These old but new “friends” hold unique places in my thoughts–some I barely knew in school or during other busy times in my life.
The inspiring and supportive”conversations” we’ve had with each other across the miles separating us have added so much to my life.
How has this type of daily contact changed my life? How has it influenced how I think and what I think about?
Would I even be sitting here now sharing my thoughts if I’d not had this experience first?
Of course, on the flip side, I have noticed who was not there.
I’ve spent so much of my life trying to be liked by those who I thought were my friends–probably better said–those who I wanted to be my friends. Now, my nearly 65-year-old self knows I could have saved myself so much time, effort, and money if I’d just paid attention to the people around me who were always beside me.
These were and are the people I never needed to do anything to impress or gain their approval. They accepted me for all that I was or wasn’t. They stood beside me through the good and bad times. These were and are my rocks–my pillars of never-failing support.
Special reminder to self:
“Note that acceptance is different from approval. Acceptance is simply saying, “It is so.”
Dear God, help me accept others the same way you accept me. Empower me to accept people who are different and especially those who often experience rejection and are made to feel unacceptable. I want to love others as you have loved me. Amen. ~Maria Shriver, I’ve Been Thinking.
~Peace be with you, my friends~