The past couple of days, I’ve been feeling really lonely. I’m in a new city, in new accommodation, with new people. The place isn’t really what I expected. In my room, I feel claustrophobic, isolated and lethargic. So I’m not the motivated and inspired person who wrote the last few blog posts. I sat down to write on Monday and felt so flat that I couldn’t do it. The little I did write, I scribbled it out because it felt inauthentic. I can’t pretend to be upbeat when I’m just not. So with this week’s area of focus being self acceptance, my goal is to accept all these feeling I’ve been having. Accept that I’m not at 100% and give myself time. Accept that this exciting life change that I’ve been looking forward to for months is actually starting on a low point.
But accepting is easier said than done. How can we profess to not care that our current reality is far less desirable than we’d hoped? I think it’s important to let go of the fantasies we’ve created surrounding a particular situation. So you expected fireworks from your first kiss and actually you felt nothing but saliva and confusion. So you wanted to be over this break-up by now but you still feel pangs in your heart when you least expect it. So you wanted to start college feeling fresh, revitalised and excited and you actually feel let down and disillusioned. Okay. So let it be. Write about it. Shed light on your disappointments, acknowledge them, legitimise them. Honour your feelings. Allow yourself to feel the way that you’re feeling. A way to truly respect our feelings is to make a list of things to do when we’re feeling this way – this shows that we’re accepting the presence and recurrence of this type of emotion in our lives. It is more realistic and helpful to take this approach than to never expect to feel down again. Speaking for myself, things I find that complement a lower mood are: spending extra time doing makeup/following a makeup tutorial, listening to obnoxious hip hop (Kanye West comes to mind), cooking a favourite meal and talking to a friend. And sometimes lying in bed an extra hour is just needed.
For some reason, it is very easy to get caught up in the idea of how things SHOULD be. I remember when I was around 19, someone much older told me: “You should be out having fun, DOING things!” And I wasn’t. Most of my best friends were away studying and I mostly didn’t have anyone to hang out with. I missed my friends but I didn’t miss partying. I didn’t always particularly enjoy going out at the weekends. So I maybe wasn’t your average adolescent. But why should that matter? Why should I try to cling to a reality that wasn’t, and never would be, mine? The situation – of being estranged from my friends – wasn’t great but being confronted with the expectation of having a fun-filled life was indisputably worse. This person likely had my best interests at heart and just wanted me to be enjoying myself but what I’m taking issue with is the comparison to stereotypes that inevitably robs us of joy and denies us the ability to accept ourselves as we are. Self acceptance is the jumping off point for positive change because it creates a foundation of self love to build upon.
“Having compassion starts and ends with having compassion for all those unwanted parts of ourselves. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.” – Pema Chödrön
So for what’s left of this week, that’s what I’ll be doing. Letting there be room for all this to happen by voicing my feelings to myself and loved ones and by consulting my list of low-mood activities as needed. Also, I think I could do with a mantra: let it be.
Next week’s blog post will be my thoughts on (not quite) a week of self acceptance. I plan to be back to my regular posting schedule next week and on. 🙂 Thank you for your patience and thanks for reading!
– SMUT. ❤ xxxx