I am determined to get my own drink, but even on my toes it is a stretch. This came to mind reflecting on a thoughtful comment on my post about resolutions. Debbie pointed out that even accepting oneself takes diligence. I have been pondering that and realize she is right.
There are many forces telling us that we are not all right the way we are. Mr. Rogers used to tell his audience every day, “I like you just the way you are.” But his voice is drowned out by a myriad of others. In American culture women are constantly told they are too fat and too old. Any weight must be “attacked.” Any sign of aging—and at 70 I assure you there are many—must be camouflaged, botoxed, sliced or filled.
Then there are all the reverberations from our childhoods. It could be the parent comparing children, a teacher shaming a learning struggle, or bullying from other kids. All reinforced the message that we were not all right.
No wonder we can all join in the activity of self improvement, knowing we will find support. It’s harder to find Mr. Rogers in our life. But we can start by trying to accept ourselves, stretch though that is. And then we can try to find people in our lives who, even if they aren’t wearing Fred Rogers’ sweater, are truly glad we are ourselves.