Most of my life, I have felt angry at myself. It would subside in times of prayer, mediation, retreats, connecting with friends, and then it would return.
I know that many of us are mad at ourselves for something. Self Acceptance is not the easiest thing in the world. The reasons are different for different people, and sometimes vast.
One of the things I was angry at myself for was being an extrovert. I know that seems odd to those who are not, but I was deeply afraid that I was constantly annoying and draining people. In retrospect, I think that fear itself, and acting on that fear, is what was annoying. There are relaxed extroverts. But I didn’t know this then. I thought I was made in a way that was simply defective, and that I couldn’t do anything about it.
Some introverts hear this and tell me: “I thought I wasn’t good enough because I’m an introvert!” Which is why I’m writing a Faith and Personality book. But the truth is that many of us have something about us that we think isn’t acceptable. We might also have parts of our stories that we are ashamed of.
How do we overcome this? It is a long process for sure. Some of my healing came from realizing I’m not alone. Many people feel as I do about the exact same things, and many people have made the same mistakes as one another. Another area my healing came from is realizing that the annoying parts of me are not the way I was made. They are simply a bi-product of insecurity, which is something I have worn, not something I am. The same goes for many many other people. Another area came from having someone in my life who saw the dark sides and accepted me. There was nothing that could replace that; it was pure gift. But the area I am focusing on in this blog came from being allowed to be the one to stand by someone else. I grew so much in loving myself by being allowed to use who I really am to love another.
Somehow, when we use who we are to help others, we also help ourselves. We write that letter. We keep vigil for that person. We listen to those friends. We organize that sports team. We paint that picture. We give our time to that baby. We patiently correct that child. We join that choir. We earn that paycheck. We fix that sink. We give what we are, and slowly it helps us accept ourselves. The word “charity” may have many connotations, but it really means love.
Who can you love today? It doesn’t have to be all encompassing; it’s important to also take care of ourselves. But what is one thing you can do? Perhaps you are already doing it. When you act as a gift, you begin to realize that you are one.
May God bless your day.