A strange and powerful way to accept yourself.
I am that girl who wades in the kiddie pool.
The kiddie pool is never your first choice. It’s full of obnoxious kids screaming and pushing one another. They will yell out, “Mom! Watch me!” to get the attention of their parent who is staring at something fascinating on their phone, 20 feet away. Distraction is a great way to avoid sitting in the muck of the kiddie pool. Why didn’t I grab my phone? As I watch these kids, I think about how annoying my children must be to strangers and how many times I have ignored them to reply to one more comment on my Facebook page.
There I sit in the middle of the wizz pool, by choice, when there is a perfect adult size pool situated next to this lukewarm bath water. Splashed water will cake the outside of my designer “wannabe” glasses and I’ll attempt to wipe them clean. I’m not enjoying myself here, in fact, every negative thought or action can be found in the kiddie pool. The noise, the discomfort of wondering what’s in the water. “Does that kid even have a diaper on?” And the knowing that all I have to do is simply stand up and walk out, but I can’t.
The kiddie pool is an expression of proactively wading in your uncomfortable emotions. Emotions we hate to touch. Emotions we refuse to acknowledge. We avoid the kiddie pool like the plague because let’s be honest, we don’t know what’s in there. We distract ourselves with the blue, clear water of the adult pool or whatever illusion we have masked our emotions with. At all cost, we avoid entering the kiddie pool.
Yet, I am the girl who wades in the kiddie pool.
I voluntarily slip my arm floaties on and sit in the middle of all that is ugly. The shallow section of insecurity. The murky waters of grief. It’s not socially acceptable for an adult to be swimming in the kiddie pool. It looks strange and most of us would rather lay our towels out 20 ft away from our uncomfortable emotions and dive into the blue waters of distractions. Trust me, I want to be swimming next to you soaking in the beautiful rays of the sun.
However, I grew up drinking that kiddie pool water, disgusting I know. I sit in the uncomfortable and over think. I’m excessively sensitive to everything and not for the wonderful taste of it, but because it’s who I am. It’s who I have always been and it’s where I grow.
No, it’s not socially acceptable to be this openly mindful of your emotions and trust me if I could stand up and get out, I would, but I wouldn’t be learning anything. I wouldn’t be true to myself. The compulsion to ignore the kiddie pool is in all of us. Ignoring our experiences and emotions only calls upon the waves to become stronger and more challenging. The discomfort is unavoidable and will always find a way to drown out who you truly are unless you accept the distress. Sit in the discomfort or in this case, the kiddie pool, because once you stop avoiding the emotions you can start loving and accepting yourself!
Don't get me wrong, I’m not saying to pack your bag and stay in the kiddie pool all summer long.
Acknowledge the ugly, achieve self-acceptance, and then stand up!
Nothing will feel more empowering than sitting in the emotions, accepting, growing, and getting out of the water a new and truer YOU.
So please excuse me, as I apply another layer of sunscreen, sit back with the annoying sounds of the kiddy pool and wait out the ugly. I know after I’m done wading in this discomfort, I’ll stand up, dry myself off and enjoy the beauty in the transformation of loving who I am… preferably in the adult pool.