As a child I was not very accepting. I spent a lot of time, looking down my nose at others. I was better than them, you know. Not saying I did nothing else, for really most of the time my nose was in a book. But when I chose to look out at the world, I saw heathens everywhere. They were smoking on the corner. That one, she was wearing an immodest dress! Oh my!
As I slowly came into my own, as a teenager, I became that person. The one I had looked down upon. My childhood self, would have shunned my teenage self. I did all of those awful things, I drank, smoked, ENJOYED coffee.
My teenage self gave way to an even bigger outcast to the ideal I had as a child. I was so punk rock. I was so…filthy. I had thought by twenty I would be a totally different person than I was.
My early twenty self, though, was extremely tolerant, and accepting. She did not look at others as being anything other than people. She saw friends in everyone, and was quite willing to talk to them. She was not shy like her younger self had been. And better than all of that, she was happy.
My self now, my nearly thirty self, is not as tolerant. She is not as happy and free either. I do look at others in terms of how they are dressed and how they act. But it’s not the same. I have come to realize that I need LIKE-MINDED individuals around me. I need to surround myself and my family, with people who will bring us joy, happiness, and acceptance instead of fear, anger, and disillusionment.
Accepting everyone for who they are is important to me, but that does not mean that I should encircle myself with those who do not empower me. This is the one way that I think my youngest self could be proud of me. She would not surround herself with those who brought her down, she had standards for her friends, and so do I.
For more Mamas talking about Acceptance check out Mama Says Om.
*Not sure why the early "me" pictures all have blond hair, I really was not blond that often. The last picture is Will and I near Weaver's Needle in the Superstition Mountains. Gwennie is fast asleep on my back.