You know, no one escapes disappointments, health issues, or lacking love whether it be a friend, partner, or family member. As humans, we need reassurance, love, and want to be healthy! However, this is not my reality. I believe we all should be and do the last three things I mentioned. But the problem is, that is not my life! I remember doing a seminar on love. This was about 30 years ago. One quote stuck. in my mind. I remember it so clearly. I guess that’s because I take things so personally and want to be loved and accepted just the way I am! The quote went something like this, “don’t waste your time worrying about how you look in a group of people, because they are worrying about the same thing!” If I’m worrying I look good enough, so are they. If I’m worrying I look happy enough, so are they. If I’m worrying if I’m interesting enough, so are they. And the list goes on and on.
You see, being accepted is in my head I think goes back to my childhood. I never felt good enough, never felt pretty enough, and never felt confident enough just to be me. So I acted in a way that would draw people into my world. I had a lot of friends but basically I was alone a lot. Perfection was my goal. Not a good idea. If someone was prettier, smarter, richer or more popular than I felt I was, I tried to be like they were. And most of the time I could accomplish that, but found out that it wasn’t a good idea. Because in the end I lost good friends. I blamed it on my parents. They always called me their perfect child. Unfortunately, that role can never be met. To be perfect for them made me into a person I didn’t like.
However , I could always justify my actions! I told them what they wanted to hear and many times didn’t tell them the truth or the whole story. Perfection costs! And I’m not talking about money.
So, If a person is expected to be perfect, you can imagine what their expectations of others are. And if those expectations don’t come to fruition, that can cause major guilt. We question our confidence, and it makes us feel unloved. And that’s the basic story of ME
I know this might sound a little narcissistic and maybe it is. But, in order for me to survive, I had to live up to my father’s needs and demands for me to be the perfect child in every aspect of life!
Then what happens when you are diagnosed with not one, but two chronic illnesses? What happens when relationships don’t work for out? What happens when many of your friends leave the friendship because you aren’t who you use to be? You cancel plans, you don’t go to celebrations, you are afraid that you won’t feel well enough to have “fun” the way you use to? And what happens when fear, pain, stiffness and symptoms arise that you think make you look drunk. Your balance is off and the things you use to love to do become so hard for you like dancing, play sports, or just walk. Your friends or who￼ you thought were your friends spend less time with you. Parties or occasions that you were always invited to in the past stops.Doesn’tmake you feel the best! In fact, you begin to isolateyourself.
￼Acceptance is the key to my happiness.
However, I have to accept, love, and be kind to myself first! Learning to do this is very hard for me with two chronic illnesses. I don’t look at myself as the same person I was before the diagnosis’s. Therefore, I can understand how my friends look at me in a different way too or so I imagine.
I learned in my meditation group that I need to look inside of myself for self acceptance and self love. I can’t look for unconditional acceptance and love from friends and family. I think that has been my goal as far back as I can remember.
“Why doesn’t he love me? Maybe if I acquiesce to his wants and needs, he will love me the way I need him too.” So, that’s what I did with my relationships. Not a good idea! That did not bring me happiness.
I lost confidence, self love, became needy, and kept searching for love from “all the wrong places”.
Acceptance is the key to my happiness. I have to accept who I am now. I have to accept that I am still me. I’m not Parkinson’s. I’m not MS. I’m Barbara Steinfelder who just happens to have two chronic illnesses. I have to accept that they will be hanging around me for the rest of my life!
I think I’m starting to accept myself just the way I am. I hope you can to.