A couple of months ago I wrote about self compassion and self love. Now, I’m thinking that maybe I missed a step in the process. What if we start with the simple act of just accepting ourselves? Now, this may seem like an easy thing to do, but some (like myself) find it harder than others.
Think for just a minute. Have you ever thought: I wish that my nose was smaller, I wish my hair grew faster, I wish that I was funnier, I wish I didn’t get so nervous in social situations, I wish this mothering thing came easier to me, why does so and so make make parenting look so easy, why does she have it all together, and the list goes on and on. But, what if, we didn’t have any “I wish” thoughts and we stopped comparing each other to everyone’s “best moments” on social media, and started replacing them with thoughts of acceptance and dare I say it love for who we are?
Acceptance can come in many forms. Sometimes it’s not just accepting yourself, but it’s accepting wherever you are. I remember waking up one morning this winter to Owen screaming upstairs for the 10th day in a row and I thought, is this really my life? Before having Owen, I remember daydreaming of the days with a baby and having it be picture perfect. I prayed and prayed for that miracle baby and now that he was here, I couldn’t believe how it was turning out. Then the guilt set in, the shame, etc. What if I would have changed my perspective and accepted where we were in that moment (knowing it would pass), take a breath, and thank the Lord for that miracle baby.
But, I am human, and I find that sometimes when our expectations don’t meet our reality it can be difficult to accept. I’m learning that things rarely turn out exactly how we imagine or would like them to. I never thought that I would fall into such a deep depression, but I did. I was surprised and scared, but God wasn’t. He knew all along that this would be a season in my life and he knew how I would get through it before I did. I spent a long time in denial and bargaining and until I could acceptthe situation I wasn’t able to start healing.
A long-time friend of mine surprised me with a very special book last week titled, “Hope Unfolding,” by Becky Thompson. This book is full of grace and hope for woman out there walking this crazy path called motherhood. I highly recommend it to any mom out there that needs a little inspiration. One of my favorite passages was:
And Momma, the only way we will find true acceptance of ourselves will be when we decide that we aren’t going to try to be anyone else.
– Becky Thompson
Isn’t this the truth? We will never live up to anyone else, because God made us unique and one-of-a-kind. He doesn’t want us to be like anyone else, he wants me to be who he created me to be, and he wants you to be exactly who he created you to be. He wants us to love and accept every part of ourselves, even the imperfections, mistakes, and flaws.
So, what am I going to do? I’m going to try and show myself the same grace I show my loved ones. No one is perfect, so why should I hold myself to unrealistic expectations. It’s time to put a line in the sand and say, enough is enough. Jenna, you are good enough. And you know what? Everyone out there reading this tonight is good enough too. As long as we’re trying our best that’s all we can do. Show yourself grace and try to accept yourself exactly where you are.
Three items I’m grateful for:
– Watching Owen pick up new words daily.
– Family and friends who accept me for exactly who I am right now
– The generosity of friends near and far