These past few weeks I have been re-integrating with society, meeting and interacting with a growing number of people. This experience has given birth to and solidified a strong, almost overwhelming, desire to be myself. Seeing what I truly do not prefer, created by people I do not prefer to be like has provided me with the necessary contrast to allow this desire to be fully born within me.
In a roundabout way, this contrast has been extremely beneficial for me, so I cannot even say I do not prefer it. I have enjoyed it because it has allowed me to focus strongly on my true preferences. Previous to this experience of contrast, I was in a haze, unsure of who I was or if I wanted to be who I was. I definitely did not think it was alright to love or accept who I was in each moment. I simply did not appreciate who I was or many of the things surrounding me in life that reflected my preferences.
Now though, at the end of the day, as soon as I’m done working and interacting with these people, I take a deep breath, centre myself and blast my favourite music, all while falling in love with myself and my view of life. At that exact moment I am overjoyed with who I am. I feel relieved and ecstatic at the same time. I feel like I’m coming home after an exhausting journey. I rejoice in all the little things that make me who I am. I rejoice in my choice of clothes, my family, friends and culture, my choice of music, my choice of my wife, my choice of the pets that I share my life with and my choices of being vegan and the types of food I enjoy. I rejoice in how I like to create and decorate my apartment. I rejoice in the choice of what I desire to experience in my life and what makes my heart soar. Yet all this rejoicing is done simultaneously and holistically. I don’t break it down and focus on individual aspects of me. Instead I take in that breath and feel what it is like to be me, the real me, and that somehow encapsulates everything I currently prefer. It’s an awesome feeling!
I have found many benefits to this overwhelming feeling of self-acceptance. It gives me a strong confidence to honestly be who I prefer to be in my interactions with others. It allows me to create a space for myself, safe from the influence of others, so that I can consciously choose what I prefer to incorporate within me and what I choose to leave out. It gives me the confidence to disagree with others when I truly wish to disagree. It allows me to face any criticism and keep on going, as long as I’m not harming anyone. It just makes me happy to be me, and that feeling is priceless.
Yet this self-confidence also gives me the confidence to accept others. Since I no longer feel threatened by the influence of others I tend to observe them without any negative reactions and constructively use any contrast between my preferences and theirs so that I am more focused in my own preferences. Seeing a person express negativity, for example, and seeing the results of that negativity, allows me to choose to express positivity that much stronger. In this way, I am not falsely self-confident by masking my own insecurities and fears. I have found that true self-acceptance gives birth to the acceptance of others, not the denial of them.
So what else can I say? I’m very happy with who I am right now. I couldn’t say that a few months ago. I was waiting to be wealthy or whatever before I could accept myself. Now, I accept myself and I see and appreciate all the things in my life that already allow me to be me. There are so many little things that reinforce my recognition of myself. I find it very humbling that life has already provided me with so many enjoyable and exciting things, people and experiences. I now appreciate that the people in my life love me for who I am already, not who I may become sometime in the future. I also now feel a shift in the momentum of my life, where more and more experiences, things, and people that reflect my preferences will be showing up. I am genuinely excited.