Thursday, December 1, 2016

How Do You Deal with Your Flaws? (ACCEPTANCE)


For the last few days since I started this blog, I wake up and think about which words in my 2017 list of topics that I want to talk about.  Sometimes I also end up adding a new word or two (or three) to my growing list.  Just like today, I opted for the word ACCEPTANCE because I had a thought on one aspect of the word, then I started thinking of ways that it pertains to “Skipping Childhood:  A Novel.”  After all, that’s the whole point of this blog anyway – to provide discussions that center around this contemporary African American novel that I’ve written. 

Acceptance Can Be Good
The first thing I want to say on the subject is when I said I wake up and think about what topic I want to discuss, that doesn’t mean that I believe this will be a daily blog.  As far as acceptance goes, I’ve accepted the fact that I’m not good sticking to the kind of commitment it takes to justify labeling this as a “daily blog”. 

WOW!  I actually said that and it felt good to admit!  It’s hard to accept that I don’t have the discipline or stick-to-it-ness, or whatever it takes to commit to making even a brief post every day.  That’s not to say that I haven’t tried in the past, or even done pretty good for a while, but ultimately that kind of pressure bums me out.  After stressing and freaking out for failing to meet too many daily deadlines, I usually just give up on trying to blog daily. 

So I finally accepted the truth and admitted to myself (out loud even) that I probably won’t post to this blog every day.  The strange thing about that is, now that the pressure is off, maybe I will post every day, who knows.  I’m no longer under any obligation, not even to myself, and for some reason that seems to be a motivator to write.  Ain’t it funny how that works? 

So this is just a quick example of how accepting certain truths about your self can actually help you, even when it means acknowledging a flaw.  Sometimes, by acknowledging and accepting that flaw (until you can possibly change it), it helps you to move on.  Once you’re unstuck, you’re in a better position to concentrate on your strengths, instead of beating yourself up over your weaknesses.

Don’t Accept Everything!
While clearly, acceptance can be a good thing, we can’t allow ourselves to fall into the trap of accepting everything.  For one thing, notice something about my above example.  When I said that “I’m no longer under any obligation, not even to myself”, I implied that besides myself, I’ve been worried about my obligation to others.  Being classified as a “daily” blog means that visitors have certain expectations.  My eventual acceptance of myself required me to eliminate that particular factor in the equation.  So by removing or changing other people’s expectations of me, I could honestly evaluate, acknowledge and accept my shortcomings on this issue.

Although it’s good to figure out how to stop worrying about what others expect from us; that still doesn’t let us off the hook about improving ourselves.  There are some very popular words of wisdom known as the Serenity Prayer.  While those words ask for serenity to accept the things we cannot change, they also talk about having courage to change the things we can change.  So you can see right there, that acceptance doesn’t mean accepting defeat and leaving it at that.  Acceptance is needed to acknowledge what is not in your power to do.  But another all important aspect of those famous words is the part that says:  “…the wisdom to know the difference.”  When you know what you truly can’t change, you can focus on an alternative.  

Character Analysis (Deandra Baxter)
Since it’s about that time to make a book reference to our discussion, I think it’s interesting how even a young child like Deandra could grasp the above concept about acceptance.  This point can be seen in one of my recent posts titled:  The Little Girl Who Kills - Deandra Baxter (Character Insight).  Under the subheading:  How Predators Prevail,” a quote is taken from the book. 

The excerpt is a passage that helps us see how Deandra is accepting the fact that she will probably not tell anyone about her predator’s behavior.  This is typical of abuse victims.  She realizes the expectations that predators have of their selected victims; like how they fully expect victims to stay silent.  While Deandra accepted and acknowledged her own weakness in this regard, it didn’t prevent her from taking another course of action (even though it was rather extreme).  Here’s how the book pointed this out:

“…she probably would never tell, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t make him sorry for what he was trying to do.”

Give Skipping Childhood:  A Novel (From Abused Foster Child to Adolescent Serial Killer)a read and add your thoughts to the discussion.