“Not everyone is going to like you.”
Gasp! What!? I thought my mother was so cruel for speaking those words to me. Those words hurt me. It felt like rejection. I felt like I was blemished, damaged and no one would accept me. Why wouldn’t everyone like me?? My 12 year old self could not fathom why! At that time I had no idea how true those words were. They were true! Very true! It hurt to hear that at that point in time because of the stage in life I was in, but they did no harm to me. Instead it made me think and ask, “…But why??? What’s wrong with me?” I was a needy Jr. High kid when that bit of reality intruded in on my goal of being a “very lovable, people pleasing, everyone has to like me kind of girl.” I just could not comprehend why anyone would not like me. I tried to be nice, quiet, and smile at everyone. When that didn’t shoot my popularity up, I tried to fit in…
That definitely did not work. I ended up being bullied and found out that I could never fit in. Guess what… still don’t and that is perfectly ok! Thinking back to that time and knowing who I am today kind of makes me laugh at myself past self a little. I was a bit silly. At that time I was searching for acceptance and wanted to be liked so badly. Oh goodness, if another hormonal Jr. High teen girl was mad at me, my world was shattered and over! I cried and worried. I was afraid that I would be rejected and eventually my fears came true when I faced bullying in the 8th grade. That was the price I paid for wanting to be a part of something. I wanted to be in with the cool kids the only thing was I wasn’t their kind of cool. I was my own kind of cool that I didn’t want to see or accept. No one was like me. Nerdy, I didn’t know the all of latest fads in clothes or slang, and I was quiet awkward. Very awkward. Yeah and that’s pretty much me today.
I did not realize that my need for acceptance was self inflicted stress and anxiety until
I asked myself what does another person’s approval do for my life?
What a heavy burden to seek acceptance from others! What if we don’t get that approval? What if we do? We cannot and should not try to please everyone. That has never been our assignment in life. Really, that is way too much to put on ourselves and require of others. All is still well if another person doesn’t like you. For me, as long as I have not offended you, I’m at ease because everyone has their preferences. I know everyone will not identify with my life, my choices, and my personality. If I didn’t like everyone, then why on earth would I assume I am entitled for everyone like me? Hmmm… It took years to understand that and give that grace and freedom to myself and others. Everyone didn’t like Christ, and goodness He healed people, spoke about love (John 15:17-18). He was the Son of God and was still crucified!
There are freedoms in accepting ourselves!
We no longer have the burden to try to keep up with others and become copies of other people. *Whew* let that all go. Oh boy, let me tell you, letting go of the need of acceptance takes time, but when you realize you are enough, it’s freeing! When I understood that God makes everyone different, I began to know that included me and I should never aim to be a copy of someone else (1 Peter 4:10). You shouldn’t aim for that either. You are enough!
We realize the true value of being accepted by others. It’s not worth a lot. It can’t solve your problems, it can’t pay your bills, however it can give you a false sense of ego. What does being acceptance mean anyway? Sure we want to be loved by our friends and family but love is different! Seeking God’s acceptance by salvation given by grace will far out weigh the favor of man (Galatians 1:10). We shouldn’t fear those who cannot kill the soul (Matthew 10:28). We are all fragile humans. Yes some have trail blazed, became famous, made billions but still they are mere humans not able to the universe. Some of us can’t even control ourselves! Look above for favor!
We have nothing to lose in giving up the need for acceptance. With carrying the desire for acceptance there is always a price to pay for it. What are you willing to pay in order to achieve acceptance from others? Reputation? Trust? Health? Morals? How far do you go in the quest from acceptance?
We will have more time to truly better ourselves. Seeking and worrying about acceptance takes up time and it’s draining! Focusing on other things that will encourage your dreams and enjoyment will be more fulfilling than seeking to please others for their acceptance. Seek more time to develop into the beautiful person you are and will become with confidence. It’s about you, not them. Become an authentic you. If what you are doing doesn’t feel right, then it’s not right. Be authentic to your whole being, giving attention to your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self. People can tell when others are doing things only for attention. It is a huge turn off. If you like yourself, you have all the attention you need. 😉 Find out about yourself. God had made a wonderful person in you. He doesn’t make mistakes! What do you like? What makes you happy? What makes you excited? What gives you inspiration? What can you do to grow spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, and socially? Focus on a better you and you will find people are more at ease with that. It’s not the acceptance really, it’s living in peace with others.
Accept yourself. Accept yo self! You are just as important as anyone else. Know that! Don’t fall into doing things because you think it will get you more friends, likes, retweets, and popularity.
If I had known what I know now, I would have saved myself a lot of heartache. Maybe so, but I thank God I’ve matured.
If you had a chance to tell your former self something, what would it be? If I had a chance to tell my former self something, it would be,
“It’s ok to like different things. It’s actually better not to fit in.
Things will be ok. You are enough. Oh and your husband isn’t going to be anyone around you, in fact he’s going to be from England and you will have 5 kids.”
*excited girly squeal with past and future self*
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