It’s early in the morning as I write this. I’m listening to soft music & drinking a matcha latte I made. As I wrote in my journal & allowed myself the space to be raw & vulnerable...I have been reflecting on ‘acceptance’ & what that means to me. This was sparked by an interaction I had with an acquaintance within my community. I came home & found my roommate had a few friends over. This particular community member embraced me & accepted me right off the bat.
I remember feeling a little taken aback. It felt so genuine and startling to me. A relief poured through my body. I didn’t need to prove myself to this person. I didn’t need to prove my worthiness as a potential friend. Everything inside me relaxed & I was able to show up fully as myself. What a beautiful and powerful gift. I couldn’t help but reflect on the subtle power of acceptance. I thought about my own wounds around acceptance and continually came back to: rejection. For me personally, the wound of acceptance is rejection.
I thought back to the times in my life where I experienced the pain of rejection. Where this wound started for me; what was my earliest memory of this? I was immediately taken back to jr. high, 13 years old, experiencing extreme bullying & harsh exclusion. I was never a “cool kid”. I was the book nerd who liked to hang out in the library. Whose social anxiety was pushing the maximum limit everyday just by having to go to school. I remember associating the library with safety as I couldn’t get cornered in the library & bullied. Plus, the kids that had picked up bullying did not hang out in the library.
The more I sat with this conversation inside of me, the more clarity began to reveal itself to me. I was asking the questions. I truly wanted to see how this story was living inside me.
What would happen to my life if I began to accept every single person that came into my life with open arms, an open heart & a full embracing of who they are? What would happen if I were to practice accepting myself in every single moment? What would change? It seems like such a small & subtle adjustment. To make the decision to do things just a little bit differently from now on. Where was I still rejecting parts of myself? What would happen if I were to pour acceptance into my own wounds like sweet honey?
I can look back and see that I picked up a safety mechanism from a very young age: To reject them before they reject me. Then, I could save myself the pain of being rejected by them. I can see my wounded 13 year self just wanting to be accepted & not receiving that. So, a safety mechanism was born. And the thing is, it did keep me safe back then. It was a sneaky safety device implemented inside me. Because I am just now discovering it. It has gone unacknowledged & unseen for YEARS! And because I’ve had this unhealed wound, how could it not bleed out of me unconsciously onto those around me?
This is not a piece I wish to hold onto anymore. I can see it & am ready to release it. This is no longer serving me, no longer keeping me safe. It has become quite the opposite. It has become a cage I have built around myself that traps me into the illusion of safety. I know that where connection with people is the wound, it is also the healing balm for what aches inside me.
What a subtle but powerful shift this is. I am excited to see what this brings into my life. This small little decision is going to bring great change. I can feel it. This is the beginning of my practice in radical acceptance!
I invite you into this practice of radical acceptance with me. Radical acceptance of your body, your thoughts, your heart, of your family, your loved ones, of the strangers who interact with you both in person & online.
I invite you to practice with me & see what changes begin to blossom in your life.