Over the years, I’ve struggled with acceptance. I’ve always waited for someone…anyone to say to me, “I accept you with all your flaws and shortcomings; I accept you as you are.”
I’ve wanted to hear those words ever since I was a little girl. I wish I could have told you that as a grown woman, I no longer crave those words, but that would be a lie. My heart still yearns for total, unconditional acceptance. I need that. I want that.
There was a time I was ashamed of acknowledging that I needed things. That shame led me to seek acceptance from all the wrong places, in all the wrong ways. I would do things I didn’t want to do. I would go places I didn’t want to go to because I wanted to be accepted. I dragged myself through a lot of mud and bent over backwards in my attempt to feel validated.
I never realized how imprisoned I was by this crippling need for acceptance until now. I didn’t know the price I’d been paying all along. What I didn’t realize is that it’s impossible to be accepted by everyone, and it’s unnecessary to be accepted by everyone.
I still struggle with it, but I’m learning that I don’t need validation from people who are not relevant to my cause.
[ctt template=”5″ link=”XR3Ub” via=”no” ]The only acceptance I needed all along was self-acceptance. [/ctt]
I never realized that my acceptance issues were never with “them”, but with me. I expected external validation when, in fact, I had never validated myself. Today I realized that what I really needed to hear were the words, “I accept myself.”
Perhaps life would have turned out differently had I realized at a tender age that I needed to hear those words from myself.
Perhaps I would have stood in front of the mirror and said, “Fortune, I accept you.”
I should have told myself that I was awesome. I should have whispered to my heart and said, “Fortune, you are beautiful and magnificent.”
Perhaps I would have shouted, “Fortune, you’ve got that #BlackGirlMagic!”
Those times I failed miserably I should have told myself that my mistakes didn’t define me. I should have loved and accepted the younger me. I should have appreciated the woman I was and the woman I was becoming.
Now I realize that it wasn’t the attention from others that I desperately sought in my youth. What I needed then, and even now, is a little more self-love, more self-care, and a huge dose of self-praise.
I don’t foolishly think that three decades of seeking external validation will disappear instantly. I know that the journey is just beginning. I know the journey will be long and hard. But today, now, in this moment, I’m starting the journey. I have hope and courage. For now, it is enough. It has to be enough.