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Day 2–Acceptance

Acceptance

Do you accept who you are? Do you accept your inner spirit? It has taken me thirty-seven years to accept with my whole heart who I am, I am change, I am transformation. I bring about change. I see the truth. I don’t claim to know other’s stories. I claim to see the story they know to be true in their heart of hearts. Since I was a child, some people loved me for it and some did not.  I grew up in a neighborhood with mostly boys. They were my buddies, we were a gang the four of us—Jeremy, Tommy, Mark or Mike (both revolved in and out) and I. We spent our summers shuffling between lemonade stands, re-enacting Chips patrol, whiffle ball, football, capture the flag—we did it all. Despite how close the four/five of us were, Jeremy and Tommy’s mother never liked me.

They said there was something wrong with me because I should not be playing with boys because I was a girl. No matter what I did or didn’t do they didn’t like me and always were quick to blame me for anything that happened. I must have influenced their angel boys into typical child troubles. Mark’s mom loved me, loved my spirit and just embraced me. She coached my softball team, gave me awards where she gave lengthy speeches about how good I was. As kids, we all need other adults to encourage us, teach us, and embrace who we are. Barbara taught me it was ok to play hard, play strong, and be confident.  I accepted myself as a young strong girl who played sports, was friends with boys and did not make apologies for that.

When I was 18, I fell in love with a black man from Zimbabwe. It pushed my father in ways that made him face is deep-rooted racism and ten years to the day he married a black woman. Now, he still listens to Rush Limbaugh, how he does that I will never know but he now recounts he and his wife’s experience with racism. Looking back at the time, I did not know I was changing him, changing myself, changing my family, I just knew I chose truth, justice and love and stood up to bigotry, fear, and hate.

With each job I took as an adult, I worked for women that either loved me, hated me or both. It wasn’t until I was thirty-five that I realized this pattern needed to stop and I needed to figure out what my role was. I learned that my role in this abusive relationships was that  in each I did not accept myself, my strength, my power. I didn’t see it even when they did. I tried to change myself to accommodate them in some way and led us down a more destructive road. Once I accepted all that I am with my whole heart, the universe creates new space for new experiences and the patterns stop.

Did you ever find yourself in a personal relationship or a job situation where you accommodated, changed, shifted who you are? It may have started in small actions, but they add up until your spirit is crushed, diminished, hidden. Your spirit is never gone, it never dies but our mind and distract us from it. In other words it becomes like a rollercoaster we never get off, that is the story of our mind. It serves its purpose and helps us think but it also needs to be turned off and put on vacation.

Acceptance is about loving what is unique to us. What makes you you! Your heart always has the capacity to accept you, it is your mind that plays tricks and the outer world that teaches us to question, invalidate, lose confidence, not believe.

About Joy Rain

Joy has been a diversity and inclusion consultant and mediator for over ten years. Prior to consulting, she was professor of Psychology and Women Studies. Joy has a Master of Arts in Psychology (Boston University) and a Master of Education in Social Justice Education (UMASS Amherst).

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