I have been dealing with a lot of guilt and shame recently. I feel like I have lost all innocence caused by my actions over the past couple years. When you enter the world you radiate beauty as an infant until society gives you a mind. Now I want to get rid of my mind and be innocent again. Showing vulnerability, coming out of your shell, being your true self and remaining “real” is always a hard thing to do. It is a hard because acceptance has an evil twin: Rejection. The thought that we are not attractive enough, smart enough, good, or nice enough, is cutting. Rejection is depressing. Rejection is bad for your health. Rejection is the reason we are unable to unwittingly create ourselves. So how do we find acceptance? Is it possible to regain your lost innocence?
It’s been repeatedly understood that acceptance can only come from you. Trying to find acceptance in others will only leave you disappointed. I’ve been that girl. I’ve been that people pleasing, pushover girl for far too long and it’s not fun (especially when you’ve done your best to please everyone and still feel gnawingly rejected). I’m a walking embarrassment—I really am. I’m clumsy, gullible, and always saying inappropriate things at inappropriate times. I’m a bucket of anxious nerves and in a constant battle with my own brain to shut up and act normal. My social anxiety leaves me very self-conscious; with thoughts that others are always forming a negative evaluation, and judging me. However, I know personally I’ve come a long way and realize my mind is over-exaggerating. I’ve concord my demons and worked my way to a damn good life. So I ask myself: “How often does the fear of what other people think stop me from doing something?” The answer to this question taught me a valuable lesson: I’m not alone. Too often we suffer our fears in silence. I always felt surrounded by confident people. It wasn’t until I started confronting my fears that I realized every one of us is struggling with doubt; and sometimes stepping up to your own fears help others confront theirs. There is always someone watching, and wishing they had your courage. Freedom from that fear means being fully self-expressed, being everything you know you are, and fulfilling your greatest potential.
The best way to accept ourselves unconditionally—despite our deficiencies—is to let go of our guilt, stop judging, and forgive ourselves. Love your sometimes-not-so-witty-blonde-moments. Love that you wear your heart on your sleeve. I fight to embrace my playfully sarcastic and care free attitude. I like that I have a blog full of random thoughts and girly-girl rants. You are allowed, and deserve, to enjoy as much happiness as you believe is worthy. At the end of the day, the only person who is in charge of your happiness is YOU. You will make mistakes. You will do stupid shit throughout your life and feel diffident, exposed, and maybe even humiliated. Sometimes people keep to themselves because they’re embarrassed; but it’s okay to talk about your feelings of denunciation. Own it! If you’re constantly feeling rejected by friends, colleagues, or even family, than seek out other sources of friendship and acceptance. Don’t change who you are unless that change is for you. Don’t limit yourself by the fear of people’s opinions. Practice self-care and certify your ok-ness—only then will you have peace of mind.
Once there are no opinions, no judgment, and no fragments within you—once there is only enthusiasm for the moment—you can regain your innocence. I believe innocence is maturity, and maturity is being your natural self. I strive to be myself without effort or pretensions. It is a struggle, and it takes practice. It will be the hardest thing you will ever have to do. You will bawl your eyes out doing it, but I promise you will be okay; and you will be better for it. It is difficult to truly know yourself. Denial is easy, and clarity is a challenge. Concentrate on love, forgiveness, and gratitude. Enjoy life for its beautiful features, without conditions or expecting anything in return. Appreciate and be sincere. Innocence lives in your heart, not your head.