41 Things, 1/16/07: Self-acceptance is the only option

Stop trying to change yourself for a relationship that’s not meant to be.

In our pursuit of perfect, blissful union, it’s tempting to want to tweak a couple of things to speed the process along. A trip to the salon to change your mousy brown hair to a deep, sensual red is nice. A new wardrobe that makes you feel saucy? Great idea.

A new pair of boobs and lipo to catch the attention of that Abercrombie model wannabe? Not so much.

There is never a good reason to change the essence of what YOU are to fit the requirements of someone else. It’s even more foolish and sad to make those changes for someone you haven’t even made a formal commitment to. Plus, if the person makes these requests of you, they’re attempting to control and belittle the REAL you. That means that they stink. And it means that you need to go.

I had a friend who was a vivacious, Liberal pagan when I first started hanging out with her. She then married a completely jerky Conservative who belittled her, called her fat, and got pissed if she bought pretty new clothing for herself. In time, this woman became a dowdy housewife, gamely agreeing with her husband’s dogmatic political beliefs and torturing herself at the gym to fit his ideal “type”. Her self-esteem was shot to hell, and was estranged from her parents. In short, this partnership meant more to her than her own identity, and she paid the price by trading away the things that were dear to her. This is relationship was never meant to work out, but my friend was willing to subjugate herself for the cause. No amount of change can salvage a relationship that doesn’t click on fundamental levels- in other words, the realities of both parties must gel in order for the pairing to thrive.

At this point, I must emphasize that there is some positive changes that people make, but those changes are ones that suit the individual’s life path and goals. Often, those changes take place not for the attentions of just one person, but for the cumulative effects, ie. going to college in order to meet someone who is a professional. Those sort of changes, if done in the spirit of self-love, joy, and positivity, have wonderful effects that can last a lifetime.

In the case of love, it is natural and completely human to want to do everything in one’s power to save a relationship. There’s nothing worse than staring at the smoking carcass of your bonding, wondering what you could have done differently. Commonly, there’s a period of flashback fault-finding, where the only answer for the unexplainable breakup lies in your shortcomings. This happens to everyone- no matter how good your self-esteem is. For people that are very secure in themselves, though, it’s a quick pit stop on the road to acceptance and learning. For others, though, the perceived failure is one that seems all too personal and preventable. This is where the impulse to change and control the unknown comes in.

There’s a helpless creature that hides inside people that have been hurt. That poor, wounded side of you is the one that begs to be transformed into something that is remotely lovable and accepted. Conformity brings comfort and a feeling of security in the “status quo” of a potential love interest’s approval.

I think that chasing after outside approval through ingenuous means compromises you in fundamental ways. Declaring that you’re one political belief, for instance, when you’re the complete opposite, is very misleading, since party affiliation in this day and age dictates much about your moral and societal stance. Misrepresentation creates a disconnect from the realities of the beliefs that make you who you are, and doesn’t bring about any true satisfaction. The truth will out in the end.

Modern society, in general, is all about meeting some unreachable “standard”. They say that you have to change yourself into a svelte, blond bombshell with a filthy blow job and a sweet tongue. Intellect is hidden, and talents are embarrassments. There is nothing great about being yourself, nowadays. The best possible mates are only available to those who “fit the bill”- a grad diploma, a fast car, 34C boobs, or a high-income job are supposedly the only way to be of worth in today’s world. The criteria rises day by day, and the finish line looks more impossible to touch with every passing moment. The desire to find acceptance for the weak, fragile, real core of us then flings its arms out, grabbing at anything that will bring the dream of perfect love. This is why girls puke in the bathrooms after meals. This is why broke-ass people who can’t make the rent pay $800 for Yaki extensions. This is why there’s so much confusion, because “reality” is anything but.

Love cannot flourish under false pretenses, and affection dangled like a carrot is nothing of the sort. A person that offers love with strings attached isn’t offering anything that will help you along your true path of evolution. They’re playing the Pygmalion to your Galatea. No person is a lump of clay to be molded by anyone. No one can take credit for creating you. You are spirit’s creation- the embodiment of perfection in the present moment.

There is always another person out there for you, one that will accept you with your cellulite, baggy jeans, or piercings. If a potential mate doesn’t think that you measure up, they’re attempting to create some fantasy cooked up from dreams of unreachable perfection, in the hopes that your efforts will redeem them in the eyes of their more “successful” peers. The internal vulnerabilities won’t go away by pleasing someone else, because those remedies are just a band-aid that don’t really heal anything. You don’t need the approval of anyone but yourself.

Related Posts

41 Things: Intuitive Emotion Conquers All

41 Things, 12/21/06: Intuition, and the Gift of Personal Safety


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~ by isiskali on January 17, 2007.

2 Responses to “41 Things, 1/16/07: Self-acceptance is the only option”

  1. thank you for such a beautiful post. it inspired me to do some writing on my own LJ.

  2. Oh, wow. Thank you so much!

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