Aug 27, 2013 | By: A Woman

Learning to Accept myself - Day 410

Throughout my life, I felt that I'm not accepted by others. 
I have a memory of my mother taking me to the mirror and asking me to look at myself and accept myself; 
she asked - why can you not see what I see in you.

 Here there are 2 interesting dimensions:
  1. That day, when I looked at the mirror, I didn't like what I saw because what I saw is a fake human being with multiple personalities so that I could maintain and sustain the relationships in my life. I felt like a chameleon that played a specific role that would suit best for each of my social groups and some of these roles I despised.
  2. When this memory came up, I placed myself again in front of the mirror and looked in self honesty at the girl in the mirror that my mother showed me long time ago, maybe 20 years ago, and what I saw is a fearful girl that is so afraid of being judged by others that she had to eliminate herself and her natural expression for the sake of being accepted by others because so long as she couldn't receive the outside acceptance, she couldn't accept herself. The interesting thing is that this girl, is me and how I lived my life thus far.

My life started at age 7 when we moved to another neighborhood. I don't have many memories from before age 7, I don't remember the nature of my relationships and who I was within these relationships. The relationships didn't mean much to me and I didn't feel sad when we moved and I left my friends. My best friend at that time was my cousin which we still hang out together after I moved so I didn't experience any loss when we moved to the new place.

At age 7, I started school and started to build new relationships. I was told that there is a girl that I should be friends with because our parents know each other and she just moved to the building next to ours. We were placed in the same class and slowly but surely became best friends. Every Tuesday I went to her house after school because my mother had to work late while my grandmother was taking care of my baby sister. One day, I heard her speaking on the phone with her father and she said to him: "Maya's grandmother is home and she (Maya) is still here". The way she said it sounded like she didn't want me there and I took it extremely personally. I felt betrayed, I felt unaccepted and so I left her house and didn't speak with her for weeks. Our parents intervened after a while and made us connect and become friends again. Though within me, I knew it was a bad idea and that I was better off without her in my life because around her, I couldn't be me, I feared standing up because she was very dominant and she would always speak down at others if someone had the courage to say something to her that she didn't like. I feared that she would gossip with others about me and take with her all our friends and because of that I feared that unless I stick by her side, I will be a social outcast.

For example, at some stage, we were a group of 10 girls namely "The 10". "The 10" used to meet every Friday night at one of the girl's house and we would sit in a circle and each one, in turn, would express what she saw within the girl(s) that she didn't like. It sounds supportive, but in reality it was not. No-one said anything towards my best friend, but only towards the other girls and when it was the turn of my best friend to speak, she would diminish us, she would take us down, she humiliated us and I believed that it was my job as her best friend to back her up and so, at some stage, I became her follower and would be as nasty as she was towards my other friends. Years later I apologized to one specific friend for what I have done to her, but the interesting thing is that I didn't forgive myself for what I have accepted and allowed myself to do unto her.

In my mind I schemed a plan to go to a different High-School so that I could finally be free from this relationship. Here I'm talking about 6 years before high school that I made this plan in my mind, because I didn't have the courage to stand up and show what the other is accepting and allowing themselves to do onto others. Even worse, I became that which I didn't like in her because I feared to be a social outcast and so, my self-interest dominated any common sense and within that, I didn't consider the lives of others and how my actions would impact them. Making long story long - after 9 years of destructive relationships, I moved to a different high school  and slowly but surely, as I expected, our relationship faded away without me having to put my foot down and say to her – “stop your shit now”. And not only to her, but me taking responsibility for who I accepted and allowed myself to be/become and essentially also say to myself “stop your shit now”.

Obviously, I didn't want to create any close relationships with anyone ever again so that I won't feel suffocated and controlled like I felt for 9 long years. I was so used to living within a state of self-diminishment, self-disrespect and fear of other people and thus, the relationships that could have been supportive for me, I ran away from the moment it became too intense where I would feel suffocated and the relationships I did maintain were the relationships that are superficial and unsupportive.
Within it all - in a way, I lost myself from the perspective of not being able to accept myself, I couldn't let go of my past and the judgment I had towards myself, I couldn't move forward and develop supportive relationships and without consciously understanding the design. I could only accept and validate myself through those who I perceived as more than me, better than me.

Going back to the girl in the mirror - the chameleon that I didn't like was the part of me that kept the relationships superficial as a point of protection mechanism; I didn't like the things I had to do to be able to be accepted, I didn't like my behavior, I didn't like that I couldn't express myself as freely as I would have done secretly when I was alone; I didn't like the judgment I have towards myself. But at the same time, didn't have the tools to support myself to stop participating in my own path of self-diminishment. I didn't like the constant fear I felt within myself, fear of being judged and not being accepted by others. I didn't see a way out.

One day, I met this guy; I met him in a very depressive phase of my life – when I was in a deep sadness within myself. Most people couldn't see the sadness in me. Actually no one but my mother was able to see it because over the years, I developed acting skills to hide myself from what was going on inside me. But this guy also noticed the sadness and he was very upfront about it. He didn't know me at all and came to sit next to me and asked me why the hell I am sad. I resisted him of course and acted like a total bitch towards him, though he was persistent. After a few weeks, it happened that we met again and we had a long talk, a talk that lasted for 6 months where the sadness inside me was suppressed, until we broke up.

When I investigated the point, I went back to the moment where he unexpectedly broke up with me and within that, I found a fascinating point. The day before we broke up, it was the first time within our relationship that I said - 'No more, I'm not accepting this shit' that he did and I stood up and communicated the point with him - it was our first fight, and the last. The next day he broke up with me within the everlasting statement: "it is not you, it is me - you do not deserve me". It was the worst day of my life and this day lasted for a few years of hidden depression.

The point that I want to discuss today was what I have done within my mind, how I have sabotaged myself since that day, how I compromised myself and how this point had contributed to the feeling of not being accepted by others.
Throughout my relationship with that guy, I did everything possible to please him; I never said anything that could have compromised the relationship. I feared confrontations, I feared that it would lead to a break up and so, my worst fear had manifested the moment I stood up for the first time within our relationship. I deliberately made myself smaller than him so that he could feel that he is more, that he is my savior; I allowed him to disrespect or more specifically to not consider me around other people because I feared that if I say anything, he would choose his friends over me. This is the very same designed I have  allowed back down the line with my childhood best friend. This relationship was not supportive in any way though I couldn't see it because I was so "in love" with the idea of us being together and that I finally found my one - the one who could make me feel alive again. The one who I can freely express myself with.
When the relationship ended, what was dominant was the repeating thought - "If only I didn’t stand up that day and go along with that which he was doing". If only I didn’t stand up - was the key for how I have sabotaged myself all these years because what I did within my mind was looking at this one point of standing up=breaking up. In my mind, I took this one moment of standing up and I made this moment invalid as if that was the point that led to the fall of our  relationship. I judged and blamed myself for doing it as if I was the cause for my own depression because I did it to myself, I ruined the relationship and it was all my fault. Not seeing/realizing/understanding how ALL of that was a belief – because, it wasn’t that moment of standing up that defined the break-up for the relationship; the relationship was dysfunctional from the start. So, it was interesting looking back at that moment – how I took that ONE POINT of standing up and blamed myself for breaking up the relationship – lol, not taking ALL things into consideration / the ENTIRE relationship into consideration. Fascinating what we do to ourselves in our minds when we look at things in self judgment – instead of commonsense investigation. I haven't till a few days ago looked at the entire design of how and why I accepted and allowed a dysfunctional relationships to even exist within my life without me directing the relationship effectively as a foundation of support from which we can expand, grow and empower ourselves.

The design through which I have lived as - I cannot accept myself without others accepting me first. The only way others can accept me is if I diminish myself for them to feel good about themselves. Now, every time there is a conflict within a relationship I have with another, one of 2 things can happen -
  1. I will disappear from their life and never look back.
  2. I will diminish myself and not speak up so that the point can fade away and everything can be "ok" again while still holding on a grudge, judgment and blame.
Within it all, what I have not considered is that supportive relationships can only work in reverse to how I lived relationships - it is only through communication, self-responsibility and self-honesty that a relationship can stand as a foundation of support. It is only through unconditional letting go of self interest within the principle of Give as You would like to Receive that the relationship that is trustworthy could be developed.
It is only through me, allowing myself to be vulnerable and letting go of the inner control I have set forth as a protection mechanism that I can allow another to get to know me. It is only through self support that I can stand as a support for another. It is only through self acceptance that I can create a supportive relationship with myself first- accepting the little girl that I saw in the mirror and stop resisting her and so, through accepting her as equal part of who I have become is the key from which I can correct and change that which I didn't accept in that girl that is me. It is only through accepting me that I can stop judging me and instead of reacting to myself in judgment, to investigate all aspects of myself and practically correct myself. It is time to constructively support myself and transform the self judgment, the inner belief that I'm not worthy to a point of absolute self acceptance within the trust that I'm here, a pillar of my own support in standing as a living expression of Life that is best for all.


Adele Caskey said...

Thank you Maya for this story - very cool insights that I can relate to as well!

Anonymous said...

Maya, this is a very beneficial blog for me. I have been opening up this point as far as within relationships either cutting people out altogether and judging myself/blaming myself and diminishing myself for others to be "visible" and me being "invisible"'s a lie that I told myself: make others big and me, well hardly even be there and when I stand up, they leave me. so, fear of abandonment is something I am investigating. thank you for sharing.

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