‘The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.’
This is Carl Rogers famous quote and one which has resonated with me.
I love my life as a wife, mother and worker but in recent years I have become much more self analytical. I started looking at understanding myself, and writing lists of reasons why I was grateful, what I’m good at and what I wanted to do.
So what does accepting yourself really mean? On Saturday a stranger complimented me on my dress. I’ve never been interested in fashion, never felt confident in expression of myself through dress and wore jeans for most days of my life. Then about 2 years ago I bought a dress which made me feel wonderful. People began complimenting me on it. I now hardly ever wear jeans. I dress in clothes which are more an expression of me and I attribute this to me feeling more comfortable being me.
I really feel I have embraced who I am. The awkwardness of wondering what people think of me left as I grew in confidence. I think some of this acceptance comes from my realisation that life is short. My mum’s ovarian cancer diagnoses and death and my discovery of my defective brca1 gene, bought a change in me. A new valuing of myself came about. I no longer wanted to waste time on things and people that were not for me. Now anything that interests me I pursue – politics, study, social events. The downside of this is I am very busy. What I have found is I love the journey of new things, the learning, the experiences.
So I’m going to end as I started – with a quote from Carl Rogers which hopefully sums up what I have been trying to say:
‘The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction not a destination.’