Allowing Grace: Accepting Ourselves Wherever We Are on Our Journey

By Taylore Ehlenz

“Let go of the idea of perfection – you are not perfect, you are real. Let yourself be flawed and allow yourself to make mistakes. Recognize that you’re not always going to have it all together” – Unknown

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This quote is from a piece of writing that continuously resonates with me because I struggle to accept where I am in my life and am often comparing myself to others. A lot of people, sometimes even the ones closest to us, seem to have it all together. The perfect clothes, perfect job, perfect family, and ideal life is what some of us consider to be “having it all together.” The truth is there’s no such thing as perfect. I don’t believe there’s anyone in the world who has it all together. 

The question “where do you see yourself in the future?” is often asked as we get older. I get nervous when asked this because, truthfully, I have no idea where the road ahead will lead me. Take the year-long pandemic, for example. Jobs were lost, weddings were canceled, companies closed, and many people lost their loved ones. All of these unfortunate circumstances were unexpected and couldn’t have been foreseen in someone’s future. So, when asked the question of where you see yourself, don’t respond based on where someone expects you to be. Instead, respond with where you are and where YOU want to be, and if your journey takes a detour along the way, then embrace it with everything you have. 

The month of May has approached in the blink of an eye, and my graduation date is finally approaching. I say finally because my plan to graduate was initially in 2018. The past few years have been especially challenging when my many friends and classmates have graduated, started families, and seemed to figure their whole lives out. While finding myself comparing my success and setbacks to others, I have come to realize that every one of us is on a different path, and even though it may become longer or change completely, we’re right where we’re supposed to be for a reason. Unfortunately, when you learn to accept your life for what it is, you start forgetting what life “could” or “should” be. 

The month of May is Mental Health Awareness, and a time to reflect on our lives and be proud of the person we are. Zen habits lists 7 techniques you can implement into your daily routine to enhance your self-acceptance. Below are a few of my favorites that I’ve implemented into my life that I encourage you to try!

Welcome what you notice

  • Practice being more aware of your thoughts. When you think something negative about yourself or current situation, try to find the positives and at least one good thing to be thankful for or happy about
  1. Have compassion and forgive yourself 
  • Be aware of judgements about yourself and correct them! Work on reminding yourself of everything you’ve accomplished and how far you’ve come no matter where you are. 
  1. Practice acceptance not only to others, but to yourself. 
  • Love yourself for who you are, and don’t let the journeys of others make you feel like yours is any less special. 

… and finally, live your life for YOU and not for anyone else.

We’re all living our own story, and each on our journey. One that shouldn’t be compared or contrasted to another. LIVE the life YOU love and LOVE the life you live” is something we are all capable of doing and encouraging others to do as well! ☺

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