Saturday, September 19, 2015

Self Acceptance



Some years ago, I was traveling in the car and turned on the radio. It was a call in show on how to discipline young children. I could have found another station and perhaps heard some music, but I listened.  A mother of a seven year old girl called in and asked what to do about her daughter. It seems that the child was difficult. The child had managed to get herself into a gifted program.  This child, while in the first grade, asked for and received a particular dress. She insisted on wearing the same dress every day for two weeks.  When the mother tried to put a stop to it she simply refused to wear the dress ever.  And she did so.  She had a favorite breakfast food which she would eat every day, this food required syrup. The mother thinking that perhaps she was pouring too much syrup on this cake, and was getting hyper, decided that she would pour the syrup for her.  She declared that she would not eat the food again and so she did.  I cheered the child in the car.  

Not that I am advocating a child setting the rules for its family, but for the sheer guts displayed by one so young to stand up to someone much taller and say I will be an individual. The radio show came to me at the appropriate time, because I was looking at my own individuality. The mother had said that the child seems to be capable of a tremendous amount of "self sacri­fice" her words and then told the two incidents just mentioned. 

Because I have experienced discomfort and loss of friendship when I have insisted on being me, I have questioned this trait and often given thought to changing it and going along with what was expected of me. That may have been the more peaceable and harmless road.

When I think about it, whenever I have been accused of not being a team player, it was because I have chosen to be who the integrity within me told me that I am and not merely to stifle someone else's program. Thus this whole conformity business demands a good look.

If someone tells me that I make them afraid, is that a subtle form of attack. I think so! Added to that is a rather obvious method of getting me to conform to their image of who I ought to be.  Granted, I am not at all positive of what I ought to be as I grow my way into full human­hood.  But this I do know, and with a great deal of certainty, it cannot come from outside of myself.  

When the Great Creator ordained that I should be, It endowed me with all I needed to expand into a full human being. No one outside of myself can say what I must be. The God who created me placed within me the blueprint for my greatest becoming. I have not even begun to skirt the edges of that plan as yet. The potential I feel surging within me is so vast, so magnificent, so expansive that at this time I know that I am the cell that multiplies to form the embryo of myself. That is to say, I am only just beginning. 

To seek validity outside of myself is the sheerest of follies and to be avoided as the plague.  An old love song, which many jazz singers have recorded, asks the lover to say exactly as they are as that state is the one desired. I went through a phase when the words of that sounded like they were intent on limiting the beloved.  Now I see that as a very freeing song, as the lover asked the beloved not to change for the sake of the lover. This leaves unspoken the thought that change is the beloved's own choice. That's the only reason to change.   

Truth is, we only change when we feel the necessity to change for ourselves. The subtle pressures brought to bear on us to change by those who purport to love us are saying I love you, but if you mend this trait, and cut out that one I will really love you.  How condition­ally we all are in our loving. My prayer is to see where I apply these subtle and gross conditions on my loving. When I see them I must lay them in the light of the Holy Christ within to be forgiven and cast in the lake of forgetfulness never to return to my consciousness again.

What I have been demanding from childhood until now is the kind of loving acceptance I must now consciously work to give to everyone in my world. That is not as simple as it sounds, as there are so many little things I would rather not experience in the presence of others. They are not major things at all. The way someone says certain words, the deprecating statements people make about themselves, slurping tea, just little things. Now that I am looking at it, I know that it is a call for me to expand my consciousness to another level in the area of acceptance. Then again, this acceptance must begin with me. I must go beyond the words I so glibly speak and write and truly accept me as I am at this moment. 

Today I accept me just the way I am!