“Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world; our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”*
The second half of this quote by Brene Brown lingers with me. A sense of belonging is something that everyone desires. Like most people, I have found myself wondering if I truly belong. Whether real or perceived, I have realized that I can experience fears of rejection and loneliness. I recently started reading Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out and Lonely by Lysa TerKeurst and it is rocking my world. She gets it when she says, “Self-rejection paves the landing strip for the rejection of others to arrive and pull on up to the gates of our hearts….Rejection steals the best of who I am by reinforcing the worst of what’s been said to me. Rejection isn’t just an emotion we feel. It’s a message sent to the core of who we are, causing us to believe lies about ourselves, others and God.” (TerKeurst p. 7 and 8). Lysa realizes that without self-acceptance, we are left with the lies.
As I sit with clients, I often hear a similar theme- feelings of rejection and loneliness, struggling to accept self. I have often found that feelings of rejection and loneliness lead to isolation, and in turn creates more loneliness. If I don’t feel accepted, I tend to hide who I really am, and in turn, add to the cycle. It is through self-acceptance that we find the courage to step into the light and truly be who we are. To completely show up without needing acceptance from others. It is my opinion that we cannot overcome feelings of rejection until we are able to accept ourselves. Self-acceptance is something that does not come naturally. It’s a skill that has to be worked on regularly, but it is a skill that can be developed. Like all skills, self-acceptance takes work, but the end result is so worth it.
I began my own journey of self-acceptance last year, and it is far from over. Yet, I can already see so much growth. The benefits far out weight the struggle, and they propel me forward. If self-acceptance is something you desire, I would encourage you to begin your own journey. The Refuge Center for Counseling is an incredible place of healing that allows clients the space to find self-acceptance. You can learn more about us on our website.
The works referenced in this blog are:
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown
Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out and Lonely by Lysa TerKeurst