Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Plugging The Hole Of Self Acceptance With Others

I am shocked at the extent to which I have tried to plug the holes of my own feelings of lack of self-acceptance with the lives of others.

It is something that has only become a matter of realization in the last week or so, precipitated by the realization that I really am not quite the central figure in the lives of others that I imagined I was.  As I slogged through the degrees of grief that occur with any relationship of worth, I realized that in point of fact I was not so much grieving their moving on as I was grieving a very real sense that a hole had been exposed once again.

It is easy to understand now that I can see it.  I have always struggled with acceptance:  my own acceptance of myself, and certainly God's acceptance of me.  My solution has been to find a way to make that feeling go away by finding others who I can draw close to help fill in the gaps that I feel I cannot close myself.

It is not a great solution of course, as it both manages to eventually alienate the other person (trust me - I have the wasteland of former friendships to prove it) as well as driving me away from the probable sources of the solution that would actually fix the problem:  my own acceptance of self, and my acceptance of God's view of me.

Living feeling as if you are continually performing below what you should be doing is a terrible burden to bear.  It is doubly hard when the person that administered that burden is yourself:  you can never really let yourself be pleased with your performance because, after all, you are the harshest critic of yourself.  Outside people theoretically remove this issue from you:  by being outside of you and "not you", they somehow have legitimacy the make you feel that sense of acceptance - after all, if they are receiving you, are you not okay?

The reality is that in fact in any relationship - any healthy one anyway - both sides are deriving a benefit.  When that benefit becomes one sided it either simply becomes a charitable event (and if you have never been a relationship charity, you do not know the pain of realizing it after the fact) or something that is on its way out the door.

Is there a solution?  The one I should tell you is "learn to accept yourself".  But that is the very thing that is the hardest, is it not?  I am no more likely to accept myself simply because I tell myself so than I am to fly by jumping off a roof flapping my arms.  There is a thing there, a thing I am missing - and my fear is that the road to recovery lies directly back through that gaping hole I am trying to fill.


  1. TB, the road to recovery is going back into that deep hole unfortunately. It's scary and difficult. I've been up and down that hole.

  2. All I can say, is *Hugs* :)
    Have a blessed week!

  3. Thanks Rain. If there is a forerunner, that is always helpful.

    But no, not looking forward to the experience.

  4. Thanks Linda. As Julian of Norwich said "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well."


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