Self-Acceptance is one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life. Everyone is a mirror for a lack of it or our embracing of it. I can say that self-acceptance in application takes on a whole new meaning when dealing with in laws. Throw in passive-aggressive along with emotional, and an early period (thank you Mother Nature) and we have a recipe for an exciting adventure.
I recently attended a wedding with my fiancée for one of his cousins. I love weddings. Everyone is typically happy, there’s much great food to be had and I love to dance. Plus, seeing as how I’m engaged my antenna are finely tuned to the dos and do nots for future endeavors.
We stayed with my future mother and father in law.
In laws are notorious for pushing our buttons. That’s why comedians feast on this material and countless jokes are made (even one by our flight attendant on our way there). There’s a lot of truth to this. I was taken into a completely different culture. Everyone is brought up differently, we all have manuals of how we think each other should act (fully written yet rarely spoken, you should just know) along with opinions of what is acceptable and what is not.
Everyone is put in your life as a blessing or a lesson. My mother in law, well she’s aires more on the lesson side I reckon.
No one is perfect, especially not me. I am emotional, an ex drug addict, recovered bulimic, and a fussy individual. Not negative, just a bit fussy. I eat gluten-free, I like to take baths, and I don’t like cold. I do many things to help me manage my mind and fussy ways. I practice meditation, yoga, I eat organic, and I journal and podcast (you’re reading some of my therapy right now!)
That being said, I’m totally flawed. I also struggle to accept many things about myself. My thighs are big, I’m not great with numbers, I cry…everyday probably multiple times a day, I get needy and clingy sometimes like a spider monkey, I get jealous, I compare myself to others, but I think the thing I do that causes me the most pain is that I don’t fully accept these things about myself all the time. Sometimes, but surely not all the time.
Back to my MIL. My MIL does not accept these things about me either which really adds another layer to the self rejection (it’s almost like I’m finding proof of these things being unacceptable because of her being my sounding board). So when she made comments about my eating too much or I’m too emotional, it stung. It’s not her non-acceptance that stings though, it’s my own.
Now, here’s the scoop. My poor fiancee is stuck in the middle. I can see that he is filled with anxiety and worry trying to be mediator and peace-maker. It reminds me of when my parents split and we would have those awkward family gatherings where everyone had to pretend they liked each other for one or two nights. It was like carrying stacked platters of bombs while walking on glass bulbs. One false move, one passive mean spirited sarcastic comment, and the family erupts. I don’t want that for him.
So I want to say an open “thank you” to my MIL code name: lesson in self-acceptance. Without you as my mirror I wouldn’t have this chance to watch myself rejecting myself over and over. I feel empowered now (like when you find a cheat code for your favorite video game). I am determined to shower myself in love and acceptance and find models I perceive that do that (I just bought the new Amy Schumer book at the airport). As I learn to love and accept my flaws I take back my power, I coat myself in organic, gluten free teflon so I can show up fully for myself, my fiancée, and his family with grace and ease.