Monday, March 16, 2015

On Finding Yourself and Accepting Others

I was going to start a new series on natural ways to help with mental health concerns, but I just wasn't feeling the flow.  I have to have flow to write, I cannot force it.  I saw a couple of posts on Facebook that made me pause. I love the things this author posts on her various pages on Facebook. (All of the pictures I find on Facebook contain a link in the caption.  If there is no link, the picture is my own).
Picture found on Sue Fitzmaurice, Author
On the same morning that I read this post, I read some others about "being yourself".  It seems to be a common thread in society.  It is sad that we have to struggle to be accepted as ourselves.  It is even sadder that many of us don't truly know who we are at our cores because we have striven for so long to be someone we are not.  When does it all end, this ceaseless harboring of false expectations on others?  We all place expectations on others, at the same time that we bemoan living up to the expectations put on us.  The author Terry Goodkind wrote in several of his books, "Each of us can only be who we are."  (Here is his author page on Amazon).

I am sitting outside this morning, listening to the fountain in our small goldfish pond and the singing of the birds.  They are all twitterpated, swooping in and out of the yard to snag bits of birdseed.  We have made it a hobby to watch the birds in our yard, and have gone as far as identifying them.  I am reminded of the Bible verse that talks about the birds, "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?" (Matthew 6: 25-26)  It goes on to discuss the beauty or "splendor" of the lilies of the field.  I also like that Chapter 7 starts with, "Do not judge..."  We can learn valuable things from nature, that is why I adore it so much, find my inspiration and spirituality there.  We can see from the verses I shared that one of the greatest spiritual leaders of all time knew this; he retreated to the wilderness and he used nature and the natural order of things to teach.
Our goldfish pond.  All done up by husband. 

In all of nature, humans are the only beings that worry and judge over things that are meaningless.  We create in others the needless drive to "measure up".  Humanity is exhausted by the work to make more, have more, and be more.  It is this endless striving to be better than the other that causes war.  My husband, who is a war veteran, stated the other night, "Ending war is simple.  All we have to do is love one another and share our resources instead of hating and fighting." Is it really that simple?  How can we "love our neighbor as ourselves"  when we don't even know who we are?

Who are you?  I'm not asking what your name is, whether you are a parent or spouse, daughter/son, sister/brother.  I'm not referring to your job title or how much money you make.  I don't need to know where you live, the condition of your home or vehicle.  I am not talking about how you look, the color of your hair, eyes, skin.  I am asking you, who are you?  Take away everything you have and own; disregard your position in the family.  What is left?  Can you get a sense of who you are at your core?  This is difficult because we have learned to define ourselves by external things.  Many of us cannot get a sense of who we are.  Remember, at your core, you are NOT your bad habits, you are NOT your addiction.  You are NOT the negative things that people have said or thought about you.  You are lovely.  You are valuable.  When we take the time to survey our inner selves and begin to discover who we are, we often find that we are unhappy too.  This is because we have been taught that who we are isn't enough.  We almost always feel as though there is something we should change.  But that's not correct.

I believe that if we each did one small thing a day that helped us to live in acceptance of ourselves, we would in turn accept others as who they are.  Every individual has this deep desire to have someone see them, not as they appear on the outside, but who they are in their inner self.  We desire to hear, "I see you.  And you matter."  If we each become that person that sees, the world will become a better place.  If we stop worrying about all the expectations others have, and we quit judging others because of our false expectations, what would society look like then?  Would everyone be so exhausted at striving to become?  Maybe it is as simple as my husband said.  We cannot change everyone, but we can find ourselves and accept others.  We can spread an attitude of acceptance and love.  We can quit striving to be someone different and learn to love ourselves and recognize that the best we can be is who we are at our core.

May you find acceptance for yourself and learn to see others.  I see you.  You are valuable and you are loved.

Light and Love,


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