Friday, October 14, 2011

Acceptance

So, I have a problem. It's something that's been with me basically my entire life. It started when I heard my mom say, "Your sister has some amazing things ahead of her." I'm the oldest. I never heard my mom say anything like that about me. She swears she told everybody that I had amazing things ahead of me, too, but I don't remember it. I spent a lot of my teenage years resenting my sister and feeling like I wasn't good enough.

I talked to my sister about it recently. You know. That talk you have where you clear the air and move on. Don't get me wrong. I love my sister. We were roommates in college for four years. There was always this underlying thing. So we talked about it. Turns out, my sister resented the situation too, and hated feeling like there were huge expectations on her all the time.

I didn't realize how much this impacted my life until I looked at my own expectations of myself. I expect that I will always have my house clean. I will always hang up the laundry. I will always do the dishes. I will never yell at the kids. I will be a supportive wife. I will be active in my church. I will be productive and never waste time. I will use all my talents. The list goes on and on. And not only will I do all these things, I will be the best at them. It's really unreasonable.

And it stopped being a comparison between my sister and me and became a comparison between me and everyone else. Somebody got an agent with their first round of queries. Somebody has a huge number of blog followers. Somebody has an amazing book deal. Somebody has this other thing that I don't. And I'm not good enough or smart enough or whatever. I keep thinking I don't have to be what someone else is, but tell that to my 10 year old self. It's a habit that's been around for a long time.

And I'm breaking the habit. The cycle stops here. I'm giving myself permission to not being anything more than I am. I'm changing my criteria for success. I don't have to do what any one else is doing. I'm accepting me, faults, flaws, and foibles. Because somewhere under all the things I want more of, there's a whole lot that I'm not celebrating. And I'm worth it. I'm smart, strong, capable, and enough!

If you have felt this way, now's the time to join in the revolution. It's time for us all to accept ourselves and celebrate the person we are, instead of wishing we were somebody else. Who's with me?

9 comments:

Katie Dodge said...

I'm with you all the way! The pressures and unreasonable expectations we put on ourselves are so unhealthy. It's a freeing thing to realize that we aren't superwoman and to give ourselves a break. Great post! :D

Chantele Sedgwick said...

What a beautiful post. I totally agree. It's hard not to compare ourselves to other people. I still have a hard time with this, but I've been doing better. I try to be the best I can be and realize I don't have to be perfect. Because no one is! :)

Laurel Garver said...

I am! Oh the insidious comparison trap--how unhappy it makes us. I'm learning now how to wake up and live inside my own life, to be always grateful for the good I have right here, right now.

Sarah Pearson said...

You are unique and wonderful. Nobody else can be you, enjoy it :-)

Jen McFadden said...

I'm with you! I've struggled with this comparison trap since I turned twelve.

Kasey @ The Beautiful Thrifty Life said...

I used to be that way and then I decided to be a lot nicer to myself. Now when I see something doing something better than me I think, "Don't worry, you'll get there." And instead of feeling down on myself I feel excited for what my future will hold. :-)

Sierra Gardner said...

I finally got to a point where I was tired of feeling inadequate and realized how badly I needed to be happy with who I was. It turns out, when I finally got there, that it was incredibly freeing. I don't think I realized the toll it took. I think we focus so much on learning to love other people that we forget it isn't possible to do that fully until we love ourselves.

Cynthia said...

comparison is a horrible thing. we all feel it, we all live through it. it will never go away, the good part is seeing that and remembering to rise above it. I've been feeling a little of the same lately. :-)

Krispy said...

Wow, I love this post! It's so hard to NOT compare yourself to other people, especially when it seems like they're where you want to be, but like you said, that's not productive. We have to accept that everyone's journey is different, and that we should focus on ourselves.

I'm so with you!