For the third week of the Kindness Challenge put on by Niki at “The Richness of a Simple Life”, the focus is on Self-Acceptance. This week will mark the last of the prompts that are specifically addressing kindness toward ourselves.
Just as I was sitting on the couch in my living room contemplating the blog post I would write, I listened inward and suddenly made an incredible discovery. The inner turmoil that has been plaguing me for the last year is nowhere to be found. In order to explain what I think has happened here, let me first backtrack and generalize a little bit.
As much as we don’t want it to be true, most of us are not immune to caring about what other people think of us. We want to look into someone else’s eyes and feel that we are accepted for who we are. Unfortunately, our world does not always provide this validation. So very often, when we present ourselves to the world, we are unsure of how to interpret the response we receive from others. Because it is the only form of validation we have, we send the messages we receive through the filters we have adapted over the years of our life. With so many messages send and received on any given day, this process can be extremely exhausting. So we find ourselves some people that we develop a strong bond of trust with. A few chosen ones that are privileged to know our weaknesses and insecurities. This could be a life partner, family, friends or anybody else, who has earned the right for us to let our guard down.
That is exactly what I did long time ago. Maybe I didn’t make the wisest decision, when so much of my trust was put into only one person. Because then I got divorced. And suddenly I was faced with the fact that the one person, who was supposed to accept me for who I am with all my quirks and flaws, was no longer prepared to do so. Now the eyes staring back at me did not portray understanding anymore, but instead my filters were sending me signals, that there was something majorly wrong with me. And instead of questioning the filters and whether they were adjusted right, I chose to believe in their truth, and instead started questioning myself.
And questioning I did. For a year, I have done almost nothing else but asking myself all kinds of questions. What started off with “What the hell is wrong with me?” and “Will I ever outlive my past?” went further with “Why was I not able to be the partner I was expected to be?” and “Why am I the only one to blame for this marriage ending?” to “Why would I keep trying to play a role that I am so obviously not good at?” and “Why wouldn’t I just use this opportunity to try and find out, who I truly am?”
Questions are the most powerful tool we are equipped with in our lives. Change can only take place, if we are ready to start asking questions. The more we are willing to face the answers, the more challenging the questions we ask ourselves become. I find that to be true for all kinds of areas in my life. And my decision to go for it and try to embark on the journey to find out, who the person was beyond all the roles that I let myself be written into, brought light to other areas of my life as well.
And as I was just sitting on the couch contemplating this post, I realized that all the questioning and working through the answers, has finally eliminated my biggest worries as well. Instead of wondering, if I ever will be good enough/smart enough/lovable enough, I realized that finally accepting the person I am has brought the most important answer to my life.
The answer: I am finally ready to be my unique self and embrace the gifts I was given to share with the world.
And I can’t even begin to tell you how truly excited I am about this!