Image by Marisa04 from Pixabay

Acceptance begins with being familiar with. It begins with being in contact with. You accept what is around you because it is there, and you adapt to it, you may or may not know all the things you accept vs the things you don’t.

And such, if you’re not familiar with a concept, or familiar with a type of person, you may not accept it, as you may not understand it or, you may have beliefs you hold that drive your expectations of them.

But what if we removed that last part? The things that drive our expectations of xyz? We expect that black is bad, that white is good. We expect that baggy pants are bad, and that tailored pants are good.

But good people come in the form of baggy pants. And bad people come in the form of tailored pants. Some really bad people are very “presentable”.

And so. This morning as I sit at my desk, for the first time in many years, thinking of a way to help.

To help the world accept the part of me that some don’t.

To help me accept all others.

To help the world accept anyone who is different than them.

Because we are a collection of different. Right? Aren’t we all so unique? And there is beauty in being unique. For if we were all the same, that would mean each of us wouldn’t be special in our own way. There would be nothing to learn from each other.

And I look at what I’m not familiar with, what I accept as good, what I accept as beautiful, how did I become comfortable with it? And the only thing I can think of is that I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it so much that I’ve become comfortable with it. I’ve accepted it at some point, and continue to hold it as a subconscious belief.

Can I bring it to the conscious level? What happens when I do?

Why can I not fully accept that black can be beautiful? So much of what we see growing up is how we should look. How we should behave, how we should want this, and not this. And where we live creates different touch-points into what we see. For good or bad.

And then there is media. News, movies, tv shows. And, to me, the worst offender, advertising. Fueling the fire by using our “imperfections” to sell us their products.

They only show one side, or a side that is not the whole picture. When we look at the entire picture, when we learn about it, it can change our expectations. Take a dove and a crow.

We somehow associate a dove as good. And a crow as bad. But why? What is it in our society that has taught us this? They are both birds. They both fly, they both do what it takes to provide for themselves and their families. So why is the crow “bad”?

And the label, is so important. Because the label is what is mass produced. A shared belief, a shared stereotype. A shared subconscious association we aren’t even aware of at some point.

What brand are you? What have you been labeled? What have you labeled yourself? Can we remove it? Like a tag from a shirt? or do we wear it proudly and represent it?

All my life, I’ve never known my racial “label” because I don’t fit into a standard bucket.

I’m not white.

I’m not black.

I’m both.

And in this bothness, I quickly discovered that being more “white”, that was better. Straighter hair, smaller hoops in my ears, lighter skin. It seemed it was easier for people to accepted that. Or worse, I believed it’s what they wanted to see. I believed, as a half black woman, that the world did not want to love that part of me. And in such, I’ve learned not to fully love a part of myself that makes me whole.

I’ve never actually fully accepted that the world can see black as beautiful. And there is a level of shame that comes with that because it’s in me. It’s part of me. How can I not accept a part of myself?

And I ask myself, how can I accept? So I went to Pinterest and searched. “Beautiful black people”. Can I transform my own belief?

I looked at my daughter yesterday. And I felt her hair. It’s soft, silky, shiny. The hair I’ve dreamed of my entire life. And I thought to myself, thank goodness you didn’t get the parts of me the world can’t seem to accept.

Remove.

It must be removed. The label. We are not a brand, we are more than that. We are a collection of individuals.

I am not my label. Woman. Black. White. Mom. Daughter. Wife. Mindful. Spiritual. I am me.

A human, having experiences based on where I am, living in a body that just so happens to look the way that it does.

I am me, a human having human experiences and emotions. You are you, a human that is having human experiences and emotions shaped by the storms we face.

News gives images and visuals often of just one side. We need to see the whole picture. If you learn about crows, you find beauty in them. Did you know that “Crows are super smart. They have been known to use traffic to help crack nuts. Crows have been observed dropping nuts in busy intersections, then waiting for cars to drive over them and crack them open.”

Let’s learn about each other, learn from each other. All sides. The good along with the bad. How can we do this? We start by accepting what is different. Being guided by releasing judgment.

See it…find beauty in it. Experience it, fill your mind with it until you fully accept it. And even better? Until you fully embrace it. The differences. Because there is beauty in being unique.

Can we live in a world where we feel our way into knowing who is someone to be alarmed of, instead of being labeled into expectations?

That’s the world I want. Then we will all be thought of as equal. Because we will all be one race. HUMAN.

Designing products & life to bring more joy

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