Acceptance vs. Rejection

Self Portrait during depression

Self Portrait during depression

I’ve been busy lately going through a spring cleaning of my office. This includes my armoire, which I refer to as the abyss. I found junk in there that I’ve been hanging on to for decades. The final papers from the sale of my condo when moving in with Mr. Husband 10 years ago, pictures that I forgot I even had.

1 thing I found which intrigued me was a self-portrait drawn 20 years ago when I was suffering from untreated clinical depression. It made me happy to know that I don’t have to suffer with that much now. Except for the times I stop taking antidepressant thinking “I am all better now, I don’t need no stinking meds!” Then I have to re-accept that, oh yeah, I do have a mental disorder.

Another was a quote from a book on writing that I read about 2 years ago. The quote was from the book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, by Ann Lamont. There are many pearls of wisdom in there for aspiring writers. She recounted her first and favorite rejection letter. The editor returned her manuscript with a note in the margins; “You have made the mistake of thinking that everything that happens to you is interesting.”

Well excuse me, but everything that happens to me is interesting…to me anyway. Where I trip up is finding myself reluctant to post something because I don’t want to bore anyone with trivial ramblings. But I have to keep in mind that it is my blog and I write what is going on in my head on a particular day. No one is holding a gun to the head of anyone who reads it.

Another quote I love is; “What people think of me is none of my business.” How true this is. I’ve wasted many an hour of my life worrying what others think of me. Yeesh, it really does not matter except in some weird scenario where you find yourself under suspicion of murder and are being tried and convicted in the court of public opinion.

I found myself pondering this and realized that the real struggle of acceptance vs. rejection is in what I think of myself. How many times have I rejected my dreams or discounted my nightmares? The true key to happiness is to accept myself, not try to force others to accept me. Lamont absolutely nailed it. What other people think of me really is none of my business!

10 responses

  1. Yes, what others think of us doesn’t really matter. What matters is what we believe about ourselves. And I also love The Artist’s Way. I still do Morning Pages. Helps to clear the mind.

    1. Oh yeah, the morning pages. I need to start doing that again. I sort of fell out of it when I started writing this blog. This sort of is my morning pages 🙂 Although it is edited, revised and homogenized for public consumption.

  2. Thanks for sharing the drawing.

    Lamott’s book on writing is a classic. I bought a copy for a cousin who is graduating from high school and hoping to pursue a career as a writer/publisher.

    1. Thanks for stopping by. A great present for a person who wants to pursue a career as a writer.

  3. “What other people think of me really is none of my business!” I agree… and yet… while I find it reasonably easy to not inquire what they think of me – the problem lies with “them,” people who think of me unfavourably, who feel I have misled or betrayed them or somehow otherwise not come up to their expectations of me. And INSIST on telling me what they think of me! I don’t want to know. I am not interested, I don’t care, I have better things to do… And yet… and yet…
    When I think over the years – the most soul destroying moments were when someone I loved, suddenly ‘discovered the real me’ and transformed me into a monster full of all the loathesome qualities they themselves possessed – and did everything possible to ensure I knew what they thought, sometimes broadcasting it so as many other people as possible knew what they thought. And the search within my self for the calm and patience to simply separate myself from them… not letting the pain of what they have said and done cause me to lash back…
    Ugh.
    Definitely NOT interested in what other people think of me.
    Ugh.

    1. Oh yes, I conveniently forgot about the times that people insist on telling me about me. And you are so right, frequently these rabid assessments are from channeling problems they themselves have. I’ve been accused of cheating by a cheater, lying by a liar, stealing by a thief, and being violently insane by an violently insane person. (The most violent thing I ever did in my life was throw a hairbrush across the room, not including self defense) The list goes on… My usual response is “uh, well…gee…thanks for setting me straight and have a nice life, goodbye!!!!” And I depart their company as quickly as humanly possible.

  4. I like your ramblings.

    1. Well thank you very much Ms. Pink. I do enjoy rambling – be it in words or on the road 🙂

  5. I’m reminded of that book you had on your coffee table years ago called The Artist’s Way. I ended up reading it from cover to cover because it a) it was there and b) I found it interesting… Good luck with the armoire of abyss 🙂

    1. Oh I need to drag that book out and re-read it. Some good stuff in there. The armoire is cleaned out now. I found so many purses and tote bags in there that I could open up a boutique to sell them all.

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