Me in the Middle ~ Self-Acceptance

 Kind Balance

 Self-Acceptance

 I’ve accepted the fact that, at times in my life, I’ve loved too much.  While attempting to be the ‘perfect’ daughter’, the ‘perfect’ wife, the ‘perfect’ mother, etc., I’ve given over my power to others who might not deserve that trust.  In accepting this about myself, I’ve made a commitment to trust my intuition and my need to set healthy boundaries and take a stand for myself.

How many times do I second-guess myself?  Let me count the ways!  At those time when I haven’t had confidence in myself and haven’t trusted my own decisions, I’ve contributed to co-dependent relationships by looking to others for affirmation.

“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life.”  

~ Anne Lamott ~

Trying to be perfect keeps us from really finding joy in our lives.  Whether it comes from the way we’ve been raised as a child or from our expectations of ourselves now as adults, perfectionism holds us back from spontaneity and being more emotionally responsive to others.  

“Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never achieve it.”  Salvador Dali

********************Kindness owards ourselves

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I get the ‘do unto others’ part and realize I need to put a little more into the ‘as you would do unto yourself’ part.  Self-Love helps me to realize that I struggle with the awareness that some have too little self worth and are too selfless, while others have too much narcissism and take advantage of the kindness of those who are too nice.  Sometimes you can leave yourself behind when loving others.  It’s about balance.  I’m learning to set healthier boundaries and not give too much power to those who might not deserve it.  Nice place to be!  🙂

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“Want to be happy? Stop trying to be perfect.”

~ Brene Brown ~

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I never thought of Self-Compassion as a letting go of perfectionism.  And yet there it was in my own words ……………..“I was just thinking that when I internally feel self-compassion I’m comforted by those thoughts. It’s when I verbalize them to others that I sometimes feel the person hearing me is thinking I’m making excuses for myself.” ………………It made me realize that part of Self-Compassion is believing you’re worthy of that compassion and it’s not a weakness when you are being kind and gentle with yourself.   It really doesn’t matter what others are thinking or saying.  We’re never going to be ‘perfect’ and we’re never going to be able to avoid the possibility of criticism and judgment from others.

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~ You’re allowed to be both a Masterpiece and a Work in Progress simultaneously ~

Joanne Sharpe's Class 1

© Sketch by Mary Lou

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 ❤

23 thoughts on “Me in the Middle ~ Self-Acceptance

  1. “It’s when I verbalize them to others that I sometimes feel the person hearing me is thinking I’m making excuses for myself.” 

    Me too. That’s what the voice tells me too. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for writing this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been a perfectionist my whole life but finally, in midlife I’m learning to let go of it and am moving towards self-acceptance. I never thought about how my perfectionism affects my relationships. I see, now that letting go of it is being good to myself, as well as others. Thank you Mary Lou for these great insights. I’ll be sharing to fb.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing Christina! I know perfectionism and not living up to it can make me defensive when others criticize me. I’m learning not to care and weigh the criticism to see if it applies. 🙂

      Like

  3. Oh my goodness, Mary Lou, you completely captured my thoughts and mindset. I, too, am working on self-love, self-acceptance, and self-confidence this year. Perhaps we can encourage one another on our quest to becoming our authentic selves (?)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Everything you said here rings true. I have definitely improved in this area over the years. I have learned to treat myself with with love and respect — not all the time, but more and more. It sounds like you are moving in the right direction. Also, I love the authors you quoted in this post. #MLSTL

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Mary Lou, this is such an important topic and I used to be so hard on myself, trying to be perfect for everyone and in all I did. I learned that no, I’m not perfect and sometimes the bar we set ourselves is unreasonably high. I’m learning to be kinder and more accepting of myself which is most important of all. Thank you for sharing with us at #MLSTL and have a beautiful week. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. MaryLou, I just finished reading some Brene Brown myself and am really inspired. I very much need to let go of the perfectionism, trying to meet other people’s expectations, and accommodating others needs in order to fit in. It’s very hard to break years-long habits isn’t it! Thanks for inspiring me to continue this work.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Brene Brown taught me a lot in regard to this area Mary Lou – learning that perfectionism isn’t something to be admired was such an eye opener for me. Now I aim to do my best, try not to be bothered by critics, and remember that most people have good intentions towards us – the others aren’t worth our time or attention.
    Thanks for linking up to MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for these thoughts and inspiration today Mary Lou. Trying not to be perfect, and trying not to be everything for everybody is so important, but often hard to achieve. Saying No is hard to do 😉 #MLSTL and shared on SM

    Liked by 1 person

  9. So many good tips Mary Lou. When we face illness or injury we have to recalibrate our definition of self. Thank you for reminding me that being is not about perfectionism, but about love and acceptance and that starts with the self.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. As a yoga instructor in my second act, I’ve learned to be more gentle with myself. It’s one of the hardest things to change at midlife, especially for a woman who has been a caregiver to her kids, husband and often parents. I agree with you that self-compassion or taking care of the caregiver is important.

    Liked by 1 person

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