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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Learning to Accept Yourself for Who You Are

This Man Has Clearly Accepted Himself for Who He Is.
Lucky Him.
You have to accept yourself for who you are.  For example, you can't accept yourself for who somebody else is.  That's not even possible.  Go ahead and try it.

When you were little, maybe you wanted to be a garbage truck.  As you grew older you wanted to be a fire truck.  Briefly, in your teens, you wanted to be a jet plane.  Now look at yourself.  You're not a vehicle at all, are you?  You have to learn to accept that.  Be happy with who you are, even if it's a stationary object like a lamp post.

Freud says when boys are little they secretly want to murder their fathers and marry their mothers.  Very few of us have ever killed Dad, and even fewer have married Mom.  And those that have, are they happy with their choices?  Maybe.  You'd have to find them and ask them.  But in the meanwhile, whatever disappointments you've faced, you have to learn to accept it.  Maybe when you were little, there was a revolver handy you could have shot Dad with, and down the  street a nice shop where you could have bought Mom some flowers and candy.  Maybe you didn't take the opportunity when you had it, and now you have regrets.  Just get over it, is my advice, and move on.

I'm going to use another example because the previous one is making me uneasy.

How many of us wanted a pet chimpanzee?  I know I did, but I never got one.  Sure it hurts.  I try to act like it doesn't hurt, but it does.  My neighbor has a pet chimpanzee, and it just makes me eat my heart out.  "That's a great chimpanzee," I say, being gracious.  "That's my son," says my neighbor.  "Quit calling him a chimpanzee.  He can hear you."  So my neighbor has regrets of her own.  She wishes she had a son instead of a chimpanzee.  But we all have to learn to accept ourselves.  I have to be okay with the fact I don't have a chimpanzee, and she has to be okay with the fact she does.  And Billy needs to accept the fact he is a chimpanzee and quit getting on the school bus every morning because he's only fooling himself.

If you don't accept yourself for who you are, you're just causing yourself needless pain.  Sure, I could tell myself if I combed my hair, shaved, brushed my teeth, maybe even went "hole hog" and put on some pants, I could leave the house once in a while.  But I don't.  Because I've learned to accept myself.

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