Young Molly and I are still in agreement on this one. I really love this rule, because it’s about acceptance of yourself. And not just of who you are, but where you are and how you are. Acceptance and admiration of your complete picture.
This is hard, and it takes time. And it’s scary to face who we really are. So, it becomes easy to pick ourselves apart, piece-by-piece, and avoid our own acceptance. Ultimately, we outsource what we should find through introspection. We rely on others to give us the love we want for ourselves. Which is dangerous.
And because it is so easy to dwell on the parts of ourselves we don’t like, we allow what we view as negative to overshadow what is really amazing and unique and positive about each of us. We’re too busy letting someone else validate our positives, while we hone in on our negatives with laser-focus, that we neglect to see our own value!
And when our external source of validation is no longer there to affirm that we have positive and redeeming qualities, we’re left without any reflection on what’s truly great about us.
Of course, I’m speaking from a place of experience on this (read: multiple places of experience). So, what do we do? How do we strengthen our own resolve? Molly, how do we even begin such a perilous journey?
I’m so glad you asked.
I often have to remind myself of one of my favorite quotes (technically, it’s a quote from Aristotle, but I learned it from one of my favorite childhood books, Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen):
“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
There are so many little pieces of myself that I love, and some that I don’t love as much. And they all add up to Me.
I love that I smile and make direct eye contact with just about everyone.
I love that when I pick up the phone to call anyone, whether it’s a friend or a customer service representative, I can usually hang up the phone with 95% confidence that I just made someone’s day.
I love that I make friends with the characters of the books I read.
I love that I write with the G2 Pilot Pen (.38, Ultra Fine), and ONLY the G2 Pilot Pen.
I love that I will tell anyone I ever meet about this pen, and usually run out of my own personal supply because I give them away as proof of how great they are…even though I’m not paid by G2 as an ambassador and end up having to purchase more to replenish the cycle.
On the other hand, I don’t really love that I chose the path of least resistance when it came to my career.
I don’t love that most of my knowledge is vast, but shallow.
I also don’t love how little I understand about most aspects of adult life. (I might never fully grasp the Stock Market, or car care, and have only recently taken up cooking.)
I don’t love that I get nervous in large groups of people. I still haven’t figured out if it’s because I have mild claustrophobia, or social anxiety, or an amalgamation of the two.
I don’t love that I’m scared to see a doctor, in case they tell me something dreadful about my health that’s been flying under the radar.
I don’t love that I date men I subconsciously know are emotionally unavailable, so that I never have to threaten my status quo, of living a life free of commitment. I have my suspicions that I’ve allowed this to cause a lot of the pain I’ve endured.
Regardless, the fact of the matter is that all of these things I do or don’t love about myself are what make me MeTM. Each facet of myself has taken me on the path I’ve travelled, and they all have brought me to and through each of my experiences.
What is important to note here is that as an organic being, I am absolutely allowed to change and grow as I need or want. I am allowed to assess how I feel about myself and my life, and decide to invest time and effort into changing what I’m not 100% happy with. I am allowed to come up with unique and clever ways to upend the negative emotions that hold me back from feeling good about myself.
For instance, I can learn how to change a tire! Legitimately any time I want! I can make friends with an auto mechanic and ask them to teach me!
And I can develop the parts of myself that I have let fall to the wayside. I can start any day. And while I may not see success instantly, I can be satisfied in knowing that I started. (The perfectionism can come later.)
And I will still be Me. And I will still be the same whole that I was before.
I could stop making shameless plugs about the G2 Pilot Pen, and start writing instead with only Papermate Sharpwriter #2 Pencils, which are in fact spring-loaded and the best pencils on the face of the earth.
I would still be Me. (But let’s be honest, I will never back down on my feelings about those pens.)
And if the changes I make require that I let go of things I love or don’t love about myself, in order to become who I am meant to be…then I guess that will just have to be how it goes.
And I would still not need anyone else to complete my story. Because that’s what this is: My Story.
Or in your case: Your Story.
This rule is about giving yourself permission to just be how you are, as long as you are how you actually want to be. As long as you are in fact honoring yourself, and being truthful to yourself.
And if you aren’t how you want to be, then this rule is about giving yourself permission to take the steps you need to take to get there. No matter how many baby steps you have to take to accomplish those goals. No matter how many times you have to forgive yourself for your past.
So, let’s wrap this up:
What are the facets you love about yourself?
What are some areas you hope to grow out of?
How do you feel you honor yourself?
How do you feel you aren’t being truthful to who you are?