The notion of self-acceptance seemed quite foreign, albeit not completely impossible to me when I was in my early years of elementary school. Being in an environment where nearly all students critiqued and judged one another, to the point where outright bullying was a norm, was undoubtedly the foundation of my lacking self-love. This is interesting, because to some degree, I did accept the way that it was: that this was the way that things were, that at eight or nine years old, I was happier dressing comfortably than in tighter and purposely provocative clothing, or that being kinder to people felt better to me than being cruel. But although I accepted that this was the way that I was and that I wouldn’t change myself for other people, I sometimes hated myself because of it.
Now take this and combine it with the regular wear and tear of growing up from child, to pre-adolescent, to teenager, all the way into the observant and (hopefully) relatively well-rounded twenty-something I am today. Throughout this journey, there have been all of the typical ups and downs, plus a few additional trials and triumphs added here and there; there were many times where I almost came to accept that I would never accept my life for all that it was, as-is. Despite a slight bravado of confidence in my secondary and later post-secondary education, I felt absolutely terrified about my future. Despite repeating time and time again to people that I had a flawless plan for what I wanted to achieve and how I would obtain it, I was positively clueless at so many times. Despite almost always plastering a smile across my face, I often felt very lost in the life that I was living. In all honesty, I still feel these things more often than I should in the present day.
There are still days when I sense that impeding weight of being "less than" creep up on me, threatening to make me feel like all of my personal successes and accomplishments are inadequate in the grand scheme of things. I often feel that I am a minute detail, a small speck in the greater picture. I find it best to attempt stepping back and re-evaluating everything for as it truly is (which I am very often able to do, thankfully), but there are still times when I cannot help but wonder, Is it possible for me to have done more in less time? Should I be far more ahead than I currently am? Am I good enough right now?
Though in hindsight, when you’re in a clear state of mind where everything is going well and you are free from that self-doubt, you can confidently declare, "I’m doing amazing! I can do anything!", this is something we must practice for those days when we do not feel so enthusiastic.
Remember that you are 100% on track, even when it might seem like you are not. I firmly believe that we are always in the right place at the right time and moving forward at a pace that is best for us in a given situation. Nothing we do or experience is a mistake; we must take the bad with the good and consider everything a learning experience that we can grow from, not allow ourselves to be hindered by.
Sending love to everyone today and always.
EMILY FATA – www.EmulatingEmily.com
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