Accepting Myself

I recently received an invitation to connect with someone on LinkedIn. In case you don’t know, LinkedIn is an online professional network. Someone described it as a cyber-Rolodex. I’m still not exactly sure of its purpose, except that I’m supposed to have a LinkedIn Account if I’m going to be taken seriously as a professional.

But since I’m a humor writer, I’m not sure I’m supposed to be taken seriously . . . and there’s the rub.

Anyway, back to the invitation. I was on LinkedIn the other day, revising my settings, checking to make sure all my information was up-to-date, when I must have accidentally pressed something to invite all my contacts. Which means, if I’ve ever e-mailed you about a recipe or photos from my kid’s theater presentation or band concert or to tell you no, I can’t bake 20 dozen cookies for the school bake sale, you got an invitation to connect with me on LinkedIn.

Which led to a slew of additional e-mails, asking me what in the world was LinkedIn . . . and, yeah. I messed up. My bad.

But this mass invitation included myself! I have a few different e-mail addresses, and sometimes I e-mail something to myself at another account . . . don’t ask me why. It works in my little right-brained world. Anyway, I got this invitation from myself, to connect on LinkedIn. There I was, in my little profile picture, smiling, looking oh-so-professional, and I thought, “Wow! I like her. I should accept.”

Then I thought, “But I know stuff about her. I know you can’t see the bunny slippers she’s wearing in that profile pic. I happen to know her “desk” is comprised of piles of papers, all over the house, that she hopes to get to one of these days. I know she has undiagnosed ADD, she loses her phone on a daily basis, and right now, she’s in desperate need of a manicure. And those are all things that really annoy me about myself. Do I really want to connect with her?
I pondered that question for several days. Accept my invitation, or not?

Accept myself, or not?

And then I realized that, if that girl in the picture were anyone but me, those things wouldn’t bother me at all. I’d probably like that she wore bunny slippers—the kind where the ears move up and down with every step you take. I’d probably respect the creative way she moves around her piles, and seems to know where everything is, when she needs it. And I’d totally sympathize with the phone thing, and the ADD thing . . . and as for the manicure, I’d encourage her to take a bit more time for herself. She works hard, and deserves that little luxury.

In other words, if she were anybody but me, those things wouldn’t annoy me at all. And I’d probably like her, and want to be her friend.

Why do I treat others better than I treat myself?

Why am I so hard on myself, when I’d vehemently defend somebody else for the same shortcomings? Why is it so easy to be kind to others, and to be critical of my own human-ness?

And it dawned on me. That’s what self-acceptance is. It’s not a false belief that I’m perfect, or anywhere close. It’s the acknowledgment that I have strengths and weaknesses, like everyone else, and deciding that I like myself anyway.

It’s not every day I get to “accept” my invitation on LinkedIn. But every single day, I have the choice to be gentle or harsh with the person in the mirror. Sometimes, harsh might be necessary. But most of the time, a little patience and some thoughtful consideration goes a long way toward achieving my goals.

The Breaking Point cover image            I’m glad I sent myself an invitation. I’m glad I took a few days to consider it. And I’m glad that, after weighing all the pros and cons, I’ve decided to accept myself.

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well,” Psalm 139:14 ESV.
If you’d like to read more of my scatterbrained musings, or if you’d like make a charitable contribution to my monthly grocery bill (which is currently insane, considering the boy-child has grown six inches in six months) you can do that here.

God bless, and have a beautiful week!

~ Renae from Armonia




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