Planting my 1st Flag (the Garden of Acceptance)


Garden of Acceptance

My name is signed on the dotted line. My tuition is paid. I WILL participate in the Artistpreneurs program starting in August! I’m so amazed to be at this point, and grateful beyond words for the support that has been given to allow me to get to this point.

But even before the program begins, life is presenting me with interesting opportunities to think about what I want, in what direction I’m headed, and what perspective I want to hold as I move through the next phase.

I have approximately one year of for-sure employment ahead, with a salary, benefits, a desk, a title, the whole package. After that, nothing is certain. It’s up to me to figure out what I do, where I go. And so I’m brainstorming. Searching. Thinking through possibilities. Talking to people. Writing. Downloading applications. Listening to my gut. And talking some more.

Through all of it, I’m noticing some patterns. One of them is the tendency to frame my situation in the negative. For example, something inside tells me my life / career path / ability to know what I want is broken, and therefore I must find a way to fix it. If I don’t do SOMETHING, and do it NOW, I’m going to miss out and end up, I don’t know, homeless? And why haven’t I “gotten there” already (even though I don’t yet know where “there” is!)? That tends to be the mindset I have: Broken. Inadequate. Probably fucked.

Well, I’m over it! I’m tired of that way of thinking! I’m tired of fixing. I’m tired of coming from a place of deficit. I’m tired of making decisions based on perceived lack. I’m tired of feeling like have to fight, struggle, scramble, scrape something together. I’m seriously over it!

And so today I plant my first flag. And I plant it in the Garden of Acceptance. True acceptance. RADICAL self acceptance. This is me, and this is where I’m at. My life path has brought me to this moment, and there’s nothing wrong with any of that! I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. There’s nothing wrong with me. Nothing wrong with being in a place of “figuring it out.” Nothing wrong with being on an adventure, with searching, probing, exploring. There’s no place I’m “supposed” to be right now, except here! There’s nothing to be fixed, no puzzle to be solved. Nothing to fight for. Nothing to prove. There’s only possibility. Possibility for growth, for evolution, for advancement.

I plant my flag in the Garden of Acceptance. I look upon my past and see progress, not deficit. I look upon my future and see an abundance of possibilities. I look upon now, and I see that things are good. Not perfect, never perfect, but pretty freakin’ awesome. And I’m excited! The Garden of Acceptance is a peaceful place. Serene. There’s nothing to fret about, no need for worry or desperation. No struggle. Just love.


2 thoughts on “Planting my 1st Flag (the Garden of Acceptance)

  1. Oh man, I relate to so much of this! My ingrained way of looking at myself, my accomplishments (or lack thereof) and whatever challenging situations I may find myself in can be summed up by the same words you used: Inadequate. Broken.

    It’s so much easier to recognize others accomplishments and strengths than it is to accept our own. Like, right now I’m sitting here thinking “OMG, Gretchen, you got a freaking Ph.D! I’ve never accomplished anything close to that…” And you have signed up for this course, which is going to challenge you in so many ways… And I admire the hell out of you for both of those things. (And the part I’m working on is being able to cheer on others’ successes without inwardly comparing myself and feeling inadequate.) You inspire me. I’m excited to see where this journey takes you!

  2. Thank you, Lira! Coming from you – an amazing writer and blogger, and one of the most resilient human beings I’ve ever met – this means so much! Isn’t it amazing…our outer accomplishments can look very impressive, while on the inside we still feel so inadequate. If my words have helped lift you up even just a little bit, yours have done that and more for me. Let’s soar together! 🙂

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