Giving Myself the Gift of Peace

16 Dec

A wise friend (who grew up in OC!) recently wrote in her newsletter that “self-acceptance is not in the choices we make, it is in how we make those choices. It is about being centered, being connected and being present with who we are. We accept ourselves when we say YES to all parts of ourselves – including those parts we don’t like.”

This really struck me. I have had zero desire these days to do anything challenging or meaningful. A couple of weeks ago I posted about this in an effort to be transparent but also because I’ve been feeling guilty about the OC slacker I’ve become.

I’ve spent much of the past 4 months struggling to get to a place where I feel okay about giving myself permission to not only live my OC life but enjoy it as well.

Permission to make compromises for the sake of my sanity. I have my partner take our recycling to a neighboring city with curbside recycling services, but I let him buy body wash, even though I hate the plastic packaging it comes in (and, therefore, plastic waste), and the chemicals inside it, especially when there are plenty of independent sellers of organic homemade soap (If I agonize this much about body wash, you can imagine how I feel about other things). I let myself enjoy dressing nicer for work, but most of my clothes are still hand-me-downs and thrift store finds. I work at a job that I enjoy and that pays for my higher cost of living, but it’s not social justice work. I give myself permission to love and delight in a wonderful partner who has his own hefty share of troubles and flaws (I have mine, too).

I’ve also tried to be conscious when I give myself permission to do things like drink Starbucks, laze away my evenings, and not challenge the racial dynamics of my new workplace.

This may sound like the easy way out, this idea that it doesn’t matter what choice I make as long as I thought about it ahead of time. But for me it’s really about taking steps to stop lamenting my OC life and start taking ownership of the choices I’ve made, with the idea of making peace with them (and myself).

This holiday season, I wish you and your loved ones peace with the paths you’ve taken and thoughtfulness for the ones ahead. Happy Holidays!

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