I have been looking for acceptance and understanding in all the wrong places. This is a realization I’ve come to recently, like today. For years I thought, “if i could just find my tribe” I would be complete. Thats whats crammed down our throats by society. In countless teen movies and tv shows there is a trope where a misfit finds a boyfriend, friend, or group of friends and becomes their true self. Or has a dysfunctional family that comes together and understands each other eventually. This even plays out in adult dramas, comedies, and rom coms. The message is clear, in order to become self actualized you need other people to make you whole.
And so, I fell into the trap. I have been looking outside myself for people to make me whole since I was a teen. I thought it was normal to look outside yourself for acceptance, love, and understanding. I looked to family, then to authority figures, then to friends. I looked online in forums, chatrooms, dating sites, even hook up sites. Looping around and circling back within all those categories. And I always came up short.
I wanted what pop culture promised, someone who truly understood and accepted me flaws and all. I had been hoodwinked. I mean maybe it is possible but not in my experience so I have been forced to turn inward. To give myself compassion, understanding, and love.
I spend a lot of time giving openly and outwardly to other people compassion, love, and understanding hoping to get it in return, but I haven’t been giving it to myself. Today I make the decision to treat myself the way I treat others. To become my own tribe.
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the universe, deserves your love and affection” -Sharon Salzburg