I have been working through A year of Miracles. It’s a book of daily devotions and reflections by Marianne Williamson. On Day 67 ” Today I will be a friend to myself” I came across the line: “I was waiting for someone else’s acceptance to prove to me that I was worth accepting!” It struck such a cord with me.
It took me about 40+ years to accept this. Thank goodness I finally did. The day I walked out on the family member who’s acceptance I had always desperately craved, was the day I felt the strongest i have ever felt. I thought it would break me. it didn’t.
I didn’t plan on it. It was an accusation made about my child that made me say “enough is enough”, pack my bags and get to walking with my son in tow. I was so angry. I got home and, once I had simmered down, I started to ask myself…”so what”. The first thing I noticed was that I felt free! I actually felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Until that point I didn’t realise how much this craving for approval was weighing me down. I was actually holding myself back from living my life.
This experience had me wishing I could live my life backwards so that I could have access to my hindsight sooner…lol. I do however believe that everything happens for a reason and in a time frame that is right for you. When you constantly live for other’s approval you actually start living their lives rather than your own. This is also the reason why constantly comparing our selves to others and their achievements is also a fruitless exercise. Why so we keep doing that to ourselves?
This experience has taught me that the person whose acceptance is the most important is mine. I need to accept myself first. I need to be believe in me and be proud of my achievements no matter how small and no matter how delayed compared to everyone else.
Motherhood has come later to me. Love has come later to me. The best part of it all is that I was only ready for both now. I therefore can only truly appreciate the priceless treasures that these are now. My journey of self acceptance only started 10 years ago. I will never be done as self acceptance and the growth it brings is after all an ongoing process. A journey. The ride is bumpy here and there but wouldn’t it be boring if it were all smooth sailing?
Before I go, should mention that in this instance, walking away set the boundaries in that relationship. I receive less criticism and more offers of assistance instead. I will never be accepted by this person and that’s actually ok. They have their own issues that they have to deal with and I wish them well on that journey. In the meantime, I will deal with mine.