If I could sum up the focus of my challenges/lessons learned/goals in the past few years, a good word would be "acceptance."
Acceptance of myself.
Acceptance of my efforts.
Acceptance of things I cannot control.
Acceptance of others.
Acceptance of our differences.
Acceptance of others' perception of me.
Acceptance of others not accepting me.
Acceptance of the shortcomings of myself and others.
Acceptance of life's challenges.
I am definitely one that is always aware of things that need to be improved in myself. If something isn't quite going right, I immediately think of what I'm doing that is wrong and what I could be doing better. If someone isn't happy, I immediately think of what I did to make them unhappy or what I need to do to make them happy.
I feel a tremendous responsibility to do and say the right thing, fulfill needs when I see them (sometimes I take it a step further and assume I caused the need in the first place), and just be really great all the time. Not because I want to be perfect or for people to think I'm perfect, but because I really don't want to offend anyone. It is not a bad desire, it just can feel like a lot of pressure. Especially when I start feeling the same expectation coming from others around me. Or that I'm letting others down.
The guilt/frustration I feel when I feel like I have failed at that responsibility is sometimes overwhelming.
Why am I this way?
I have no idea.
But it is a part of my personality that I am learning to accept (it is easy to get very frustrated that I am this way...) and that I am learning to balance.
I am learning to let things go I cannot control.
I am learning to accept myself through the process of progress - it is ok if I'm not quite there yet as long as I'm going in the right direction.
I am learning to not let other people's criticisms get me down. (this is a hard one)
And though I get impatient at times that I am not yet where I want to be, it is encouraging to see how much and in what ways I have grown - even if others do not see it.
Because it's not even about them anyway.
Life is too great to get caught up in the little things.
It's so much better to accept, let go, move on, and enjoy :)
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