accept yourself

Self-acceptance.

I’ve been trying to think of something to write about for a while now, and I just wasn’t really feeling inspired. But as I was thinking about it, I realized my heart knew all along the most vulnerable area of my life: self-acceptance.

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if you’ve never seen this video, I highly recommend for a good laugh. it’s relevant.

I think everyone deals with this to a certain degree. Whether it be body image, intelligence, athleticism, spirituality, ethnicity, etc., we all deal with some sort of trouble regarding acceptance.

Constant comparison is the name of the game. I think, at least for myself, I’m constantly holding myself to a standard that I think I should meet. Based on what though? There has to be some sort of precedent set before me in order for that standard to seem feasible in my head. But truthfully, I am my own standard. We are all our own individual standards. I once got so excited that I improved my score on a test that I planned to celebrate with a nice dinner that night. But when I found out the scores that other people earned on that same test and realized they were better, my automatic thoughts told me my score isn’t good enough. I don’t deserve a celebratory dinner. What was I thinking?  Yet I was so excited for myself before I found out what other people had scored. So what changed? I set a standard for myself based on other people, instead of realizing my own accomplishment. I compared myself to everyone else instead of recognizing that I actually doubled my previous test score; I did well for ME. But that wasn’t enough.

But honestly, what is enough?

I don’t think I can even answer that. I don’t have a concrete answer for what “enough” looks like. That’s the problem.

How am I supposed to ever accept myself if I don’t even know what I’m accepting?

I have a picture of myself from 6thgrade when I traveled to Colorado with my mom and a couple of her friends (see below). I knew I wouldn’t know anyone in Colorado, so I had liberty to be whoever I wanted to be while I was there. More specifically, I could wear whatever I wanted to wear without anyone judging me. Whenever I look at the pictures from this trip, I first want to blame my mom for allowing me to go out in public (Haha seriously though, Mom). But then I realize I was just being me. Sure, I wasn’t the most stylish, but I accepted myself. It makes me a little sad that I was only willing to accept myself when I knew no one else would be there to witness it.

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still not sure how the knee-high purple socks trend didn’t catch on!!??

I hope I can learn to accept myself 100% of the time, and I hope I can allow everyone to witness it.

I’m not quite there yet. I’m working on it.

So here’s to self-acceptance and learning that we are all individuals. Here’s to breaking out your knee-high purple socks and wearing them in public.

We’re different. But let’s be different together. Imagine if we all accepted ourselves 100% of the time.

Who would you be then?

 

catch ya on the flip side,

abeachruns

 

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

-Psalm 139:14

floaties

This is not a sob story. It’s not meant to be negative.

It’s a story that shows the times we are in most need of our floaties. 

But everything is part of God’s greater plan for us. Everything has its purpose, we just have to choose to find it.

I believe there is more good in the world than there is bad, so I see this story as positive. Each time floaties were lost, new ones were found. And ultimately, the strongest floaties were there the whole time. It’s just a matter of choosing to find them.

✽ ✽ ✽ ✽ ✽ ✽ ✽ ✽ ✽ ✽ ✽ ✽ ✽ ✽ ✽ ✽ ✽ ✽ ✽ ✽ ✽ ✽ ✽ ✽ ✽

When she was 2, she jumped into a pool without floaties yelling “Kowabunga!” on the way down. It’s funny, she didn’t even realize that she would sink. That she wouldn’t just pop back up. But someone was there to save her. Her grandma jumped in and helped her pop back up, like floaties.

The expression is sink or swim, but if neither are an option, use your floaties.

Riding with the windows down in the backseat of a truck listening to Bob Marley. She’s offered a stick of green spearmint gum and takes it. It’s hot outside. She’s older now, and her life is different than when she was 2. Even still, she doesn’t know anything different because aside from what she observes in her friends’ married parents, she doesn’t remember when hers were. She just knows that she has 4 parents now and that’s her normal. She just has an extra set of floaties.

Twice a year she gets on a plane and flies 1,503 miles north to her dad’s house. She was deemed an “unaccompanied minor” until she was 15 and old enough to sit in the emergency exit row, but until then the flight attendants were her floaties.

When she was 13, she moved out of the house she lived in for 8 years.

When she was 14, she moved again.

Her grandmother passed away over the summer while she was 1,503 miles away. She didn’t cry, not at first. She didn’t cry until a few days later after the funeral because she realized something: she lost a pair of floaties.

A few days after the funeral, her mom was told to move out of the house. Yes, divorce. Her mom found a new pair of floaties, though: Faith.

At first, she didn’t want to leave the house she moved into just one year ago. But after some dark and empty nights left alone in that large house, she realized she couldn’t find floaties there. She moved out of three stories into a small townhouse just before the start of her freshman year of high school.

Her favorite holiday is Valentine’s Day, and the people in her friend group knew that. Yet, she was the only one who wasn’t given a Valentine. Not a card, not a treat, nothing. Friend groups are meant to be floaties. She switched out those floaties for a new pair.

When she was a sophomore, she ran 3 minutes slower in the 5k than she did her freshman year and everyone told her it was a mental thing. She saw a priest in Lourdes, France on January 1st, 2015 and told him she was having trouble accepting the fact that she would never be a strong competitor in running again. The priest told her it was all part of God’s plan.

She learned to use God as her floaties, and to accept that she would still run, but she couldn’t be the best.

A month later these floaties helped her pop back up because she found out it wasn’t mental; She had anemia. God became a pair of her strongest floaties.

The smell of fresh cut grass, scorching sunshine, and beads upon beads of sweat. Cross country season. Except this time she’s running in college.

She used her floaties.

She failed many times, but she learned a lot of things from these failures. She’s still learning from them. Every day comes with a new challenge, but she picks up new floaties along the way and exchanges old ones.

 

Sink or swim, but if neither are an option, use your floaties.

 

catch ya on the flip side,

abeachruns

 

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.

-Ephesians 2:8

struggling to become vulnerable

It’s no question we all struggle. Something that has always bothered me is the fact that people measure their own struggles based on the perceived gravity of someone else’s struggles.

Everyone is different.

We all struggle differently.

If the worst thing you have ever experienced is a stubbed toe, so be it. You’re blessed, but you still struggle. And that’s okay.

We all handle our struggles differently too. Some people are more outwardly emotional, and some people become stoic. Neither is necessarily better or worse; there’s not really a good way to struggle. But the bottom line is this: it’s okay to struggle.

Allow yourself to struggle.

Even if struggling to complete a four-page paper because you’re also trying to balance your time between a midterm that you must at least get a C on this time around, plus the stress of social pressures, and the pounding thought in your head that you might not be good enough, seems trivial compared to your friend’s recent discovery that she is injured and won’t be able to compete in her sport– scratch that, her passion-– this season… you’re both equally entitled to acknowledging your struggles.

Something I have been struggling with for admittedly a few years (though I didn’t always realize I was struggling) is being vulnerable. In retrospect, I have stifled quite a few interests of mine out of fear of what other people might think of me. I was never willing to entirely step out of my comfort zone to make myself happy. I was too focused on making sure my relationship with everyone around me was in equilibrium. Doing something that could potentially elicit a snide remark or a sarcastic laugh meant rocking the boat; something I was not willing to do. I wanted to remain in the background. It’s comfortable there.

But my mom recently told me, “You can’t go your whole life never doing anything that makes you uncomfortable. It’s scary, but it won’t become less scary by always avoiding it.” So here’s to doing something scary. Something that makes me vulnerable. Something I struggle with.

I’m starting a blog.

Something anyone can read.
Something that could quite possibly elicit snide remarks or sarcastic laughs.

But it’s also something I can enjoy. Something that might just interest someone else, too.

So here marks the beginning of learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

 

catch ya on the flip side

 

abeachruns

 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

-2 Corinthians 12:9-10