Posted by: JennyRain | March 29, 2010

The Scarlet Letter: A for Acceptance

When did acceptance become an ugly word in my vocabulary?

i have struggled to feel accepted my entire life.

growing up i was excruciatingly-shy due to an overabundance of social anxiety that left me energetic-at-all-the-wrong-events uncomfortable in crowds.

i was painfully awkward around the “in-crowd.” either verbally gushing or shell-shocked into silence.

when i managed to find myself in the mix-of-the-popular, i would vomit some hideous comment at the most inopportune moment (think: Linda Blair’s pea-soup-upchuck-extravaganza in the Exorcist).

my too-long-for-my-boney-body limbs frequently took off without warning and before i knew it i had dropped my lunch tray in the middle of the lunch-room at school, sent my fork careening across a crowded restaurant after my elbow landed on it at dinner, or run into a doorframe on the way into trigonometry.

i was a professional at embarrassing myself.

the harder i tried to gain acceptance, the more i would find myself becoming un-acceptable.

it was horrible.

this morning i was reminiscing about the previous night’s dinner with @gritandglory and @traceepersiko and what a blessing it was to make two new friends.

then, out of the blue, my brain started blowing thoughts like the 4am-army-bugle-Reveille-wake-up-call…

am i likeable… do people like me… am i acceptable…did i do anything dumb… did i say anything dumb… i always say dumb things… i am dumb… i’m probably not acceptable, these ladies are amazing… i’m not amazing… i’m no one special…am i likeable… am i acceptable?

on and on the bugle-call went in my brain.

this desire to be accepted still plagues me.

ugh!

thirty-nine years old and i am still struggling with elementary-school-do-you-like-me-questions…basing my worth on how i look, what i do, what i say, how i behave. 

intellectually, yes, i know who i am is dependent on Whose i am… and being in Christ determines my value… yada yada… i wrote an entire bible study on it! 

but internally… i still struggle with this stuff.  

just keeping it real folks…

internally i still feel like Hester Prynne with a big scarlet A on my chest for all to see… that there is still something inherently unacceptable inside of me that i am still fighting with…

*sigh*

Lest i leave y’all totally depressed today… i’ll end with something a little more hopeful…i know who and Whose i am… i just know that some days i struggle more than others with this whole concept of acceptance.

maybe its just a woman-thing?

Eph 1:11… It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for.

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Responses

  1. Great post!

    Guys will never admit it but we struggle with many of these same things. I’m involved with a group here in Nashville that I avoided really digging into for months because I was worried they really didn’t like me.

    BTW. love the Linda Blair reference. 😉

  2. Great post Jenny,
    I was the same as you my whole life, most everyone is inside. My identity with Christ is supreme though, and he will make you into a confident ball of fire. I have been sold out to Christ for a long time (Im 45) but I truly do not care what people think of how I look or act (Now), Yes I do strive to set a good example, but when you are with people who are your sisters in Christ do not feel anxious, they are kindred as am I. It is a process of spiritual growth, and you are headed to it, and when you reach it, it is the greatest thing one can imagine. Not caring what anyone thinks, because you are comfortable in your skin. God bless you and yours sister!
    Jim

  3. I think I was just reading my life. I was far from being the popular kid at school and growing up. Think Carrie (don’t worry I didn’t kill anyone).

    I still struggle with wanting to impress people. I say stupid stuff that I think is funny when it’s not.

    I’d like to say I don’t care but I do. I want to know that I’m liked. That I’m accepted by my peers. That I’m not still looked upon like that awkward, tall, very thin girl I was in elementary school.

    • 🙂 can tooootally relate to the Carrie thing… sigh

  4. wow.

    u r so cool…..

    u r so, not ‘uncool.’

    your ‘you’ ness makes your ‘coolness.’

    hmph.

  5. So value the honesty. I do the processing and evaluation of myself. I go over things said and wonder if I sounded stupid. I often compare myself to the others in the conversation, if there’s multiple people. It feels heavy and paralyzing at times.

    So appreciate your honest and beautiful heart

    • me too! i do those exact same things… oye… if we could just turn our brains off 🙂


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