Acceptance is defined as “the action or process of being received as adequate or suitable, typically to be admitted into a group“.
For years, I didn’t feel like I fit in. From about the age of 12, I started to stuff the feelings of inadequacy which raged in my head every day. Fear of not fitting in. Fear of not being good enough. Fear of not doing the right thing. Fear of disappointing others. As a result of stuffing those feelings, I developed unhealthy coping mechanisms – bulimia along with many different types of addiction (drugs, alcohol, and shopping). It wasn’t until I entered recovery the first time, I found true acceptance from others and with myself. I spoke my mind and felt confident.
Over the years, on the outside I accepted who I was but on the inside the inner gremlins were starting to play the comparison game. Slowly, the “old me” who was insecure in who she was, was looking outside for acceptance. I worried about disappointing others. I worried about whether I was good enough. I worried about EVERYTHING. The truth was I didn’t like who I was becoming. Instead of sharing the feelings with others, I stuffed them. I didn’t want family and friends to see my struggles. WHY? Pride. I was afraid of what they would think. Unsure they could or would love me for who I was. Unsure they would accept me broken and unsure. Pride and fear kept feelings stuffed away.
As the feelings got stuffed deeper and deeper, relapse was inevitable. See, relapse can take on many forms. With me, it was in shopping and credit cards. I was trying to live up to the expectations I thought everyone had of me. When I walked back into NA, I was broken. I didn’t like me at all. I didn’t like the person I had become. I didn’t like the pain and hurt I had caused over the years to the people I loved the most. I didn’t like the financial mess I had made of my life.
With the help of friends and the support of family, I am again accepting who I am (okay, at least trying to). I struggle with the picture I have of who I should be. I struggle with worrying whether I am meeting everyone’s expectations. But I know when I turn things over, it will get better. The tapes aren’t on replay and I can live in the moment.
I am learning to accept what is in my life – the good, the bad and the ugly. I am learning to accept I am wonderfully made even on my worst days. I am learning to accept (very slowly) my struggles with MS, having faith in the fact it is all part of God’s plan. Do I think God’s plan was for me to make a mess of my life twice? NO! I do know he has helped me through the struggles. He accepts me for who I am – no matter what.
I am learning to be thankful…Being thankful helps you get through life’s tough times, because you can easily call to mind all of the good things in your life. Being grateful just makes you happy and being happy can help keep your mind and body healthy!
Accept who you are, without relying on outside influences. Accept we are not perfect and it is okay. What are you thankful for today?