I am reading Yesterday, I Cried by Iyanla Vanzant. In the book, she writes,
“My life coach once told me that whatever shows up in the your life is the answer. Your job is to figure out the question. I had lived through many abrupt, harsh answers. At forty, I was committed to remembering the question. For me, the main question I had lived my life trying to find an answer to was, ‘Why can’t people love me the way I want to be loved?’ At forty, the answer magically popped into my head, ‘Because you don’t know how to love yourself!'”
This led me to ask myself, what is the question I have been trying to answer? I have written here extensively about my past, about my validation seeking, about not being my own advocate, etc. People know about it. I have written about my year long travel excursion and what each state meant for me. I’ve written about pulling back from getting readings as I discovered I needed to trust myself more, to listen to myself more, to heed the information I receive. The question that I have been trying to get an answer to, through readings, through my writings, through self-help books, relationships, work, accomplishments, through traveling, counseling, talking to people has been, “Why can’t others accept me as I am?”
I’m actually crying as I write this. I’ve cried all morning as this book has caused my own self-reflection. Self acceptance plays a key role in learning to love oneself unconditionally. But I have no idea what self-acceptance even looks like! I can’t think of a moment in my life when I have seen it demonstrated. I have picked myself apart and have allowed others to pick me apart. I have lied and thus compromised my integrity because I was too afraid to tell the truth, to live my truth, if it wasn’t the opinion expressed and supported by the group. I work hard. But I abuse myself trying to prove that I am acceptable and trying to display only the parts that others view as acceptable, hiding the rest.
The message: I need to cultivate my integrity and my courage in order to continue to grow into the fullness of who I really am.