Thursday, November 12, 2009


I may have finally found acceptance. I've spent my life looking for it, silently wishing for it from my parents, jumping through hoops to get it from friends, striving and crying for it with lovers, needing it desperately from anyone who looked my way. Only now, having gone through the stages of grief of losing my former life and dealing with the limitations and reality of my new, somewhat more painful one, have I realized that the only place I am ever going to find true acceptance is from myself.

Not to mislead: I am surrounded by love. Family and friends, my partner and my dog, I have no shortage of hugs, supportive words or affection when I need it. But this is not the same as acceptance. Acceptance is non-judging, without condition and has no need for justifications. Acceptance suggests trust, approval, and belief. To ask another person to give me their total acceptance is absolutely not fair. People are unpredictable, mysterious, never say everything they think and usually have motives that they do not share with the rest of the class, if even with themselves. None of these are bad, just human. We protect ourselves by keeping our secret thoughts secret, our actions and words are defined by our experiences, which no one else has had and can therefore never truly understand, and our biological functions, like blood sugar, pain level and hormones, can change our moods and minds so easily it makes me wonder how in control of ourselves we really are. (At all? Are we just walking impulses? Road rage, elopements, drug addiction and love tell me that we are. But that's another blog post.)

To seek acceptance from a fellow human is an exercise in futility. We accept the parts of others that we like, and reject or ignore what we don't. We can be accepting; tolerant and friendly, supportive and giving, but we always (ALWAYS) hold something back. There are many reasons for the lack of acceptance in the world. Some of us are judgmental, we have preconceptions and immovable ideals on which we can not compromise. Some of us have experience that tells us that acceptance is dangerous: we've been hurt before or have seen others hurt as a result of being too open. Some of it is simply lack of understanding, we don't know what acceptance is because we have never had it, or we just don't know how to truly accept another without reservation. People are inherently selfish, we live in our own heads, never really knowing another perspective besides our own, and everything we do is coated in massive varnish of ME. We rarely do anything purely unselfishly. Even charity work comes with a feeling of goodwill and a tax write off. Is my cynicism showing?

I do experience measures of acceptance in my life. From my partner to my dog, my mother, my cousins, and my friends all love me and wish for my happiness, but they do not accept me fully. We have differing religious or political beliefs, which some simply can't abide, so we ignore it (at best). My illness is difficult for people to accept, as their true acceptance would require lifestyle changes on their part. Respecting my need for a quiet, dimly lit environment without a single synthetic smell is something that not a soul in my life has been able to completely do. It's unintentional for many (but not all) to disregard my needs, they simply forget that they'll be seeing me when they splash on the perfume or they think I'm being dramatic about the noise level of the music blaring from the speakers. It's not for me to judge why I am not accepted. It's for me to accept it. I have to accept the lack of acceptance in my world. Confused? Yeah, that's why I'm typing it all out. When I say it out loud it makes even less sense.

To sum up: to thine own self be true. Don't depend on others to give you what you can best give yourself. And do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

The end.


WinnyNinny PooPoo said...

very profound. Thanks for sharing and giving me something to work towards!

Sue said...

This is so eloquently spoken and so very true. I'm working on the same kind of acceptance myself. It's hard work. Sometimes I think the hardest person to please is myself. I still expect to be able to live as I used to live - without all the limitations and without Teh Headache making so many decisions for me.

But ever so slowly I'm beginning to understand that my life is what it is and I need to work with it - as it is, not as I would like it to be.

That is a whole lot easier to do on days when I have little or no pain. On bad pain days, acceptance is a hard sell for my hurting brain.

Thanks so much for sharing this.