Self-love and Acceptance

I’ve been in one of the biggest low slumps of my life the last few weeks… Maybe that’s an exaggeration, because it always feels big when you’re in it. But this time feels particularly different. I think I’m beginning to really learn to get over some of the things in life that really hold me down and stop me from being productive, and most of all be who I want to be.

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I’ve been actively trying to be more accepting, and to let go of things recently. I have started to accept that I can be a little controlling at times, not in a deliberate way, but just expressing my feelings a little too much sometimes and letting myself get wound up about stuff. I realised that instead I could express how I feel enough to feel understood and heard, and spend the rest of the time discussing things in a calm and more logical way. That way I am more able to really listen and make space for my partners to feel heard and understood. And also, I know that being imposing like that can stop people making decisions freely, and can affect the outcome. So if I let things go more it makes it easier for my partners to make the decisions that I have, in the past, pressured them to make.
Since putting all this into practice I have really noticed it working. I have been able to really assess situations and see what’s driving our emotions, rather than getting caught up in the frustration that I would usually feel. I’ve been helping Night navigate feelings of insecurity, and helped her realise that she needs to be more accepting of her emotional needs for example. And this all makes me happy, because it feels like I’m really being who I want to be and following my own beliefs and values more. It’s important to me to eradicate any remnants of control in my relationships. So it feels like I’m learning to be myself more than I used to be, in a strange kind of way.
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It’s not just in my relationships that I need to learn this though. I have been thinking more recently about embracing my tendency towards openness in a more broad way, and how openness is a big part of my personality that I often repress. As I said, I’ve been really low recently. I have made a decision to be more open that I think will change a lot of things, but it feels like a big risk. And the time it’s taking to put it into action has given me space to doubt myself, and let a lot of the voices that tell me I’m wrong about this take centre stage. But I realised that all of these voices are coming from ideas or people who only bring me down, and that if I truly want to be happy I need to really listen to myself, and act in the way that feels natural to me, rather than worrying about things that will never get me anywhere.
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To give you some context, I’ve decided to go completely public about my life to the online sphere*. Which I feel is something I have the privilege to be free to do, unlike many people I know (which almost makes me feel like I have a duty to do so!). At the moment I have a segregated online life, one where I am completely open about lots of personal things, and another where I have a mask up, it’s all quite mysterious, and I’m pretending to be “professional”. But I realised that these two extremes aren’t getting me anywhere, and they’re not making me happy.
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So yesterday, I was doing some thinking. And I figured out some of the things that are making this move feel risky, and scary. And I just decided to let them go. They have been hanging over me for years. For example, I worry that one day I’ll go to a job interview and have to lie about the last few years of my life. And I’ve been keeping up a professional (yet not particularly prolific, unfortunately) persona on my tessbmusic online-face. And I realised that I never want to have to do that, I don’t like lying like that, it really frightens me and that sort of feeling has a paralysing effect.
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Along with a few other things, I let go of that yesterday. I see now that I was viewing it as a “potential” or a “possibility”, rather than something that was really just holding me back and making me censor myself. All these realisations were very motivating for me, so I decided to start work on the song that I want to post along with my “coming out” as it were…
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And something really powerful hit me when I started working on this song. It reminded me why I make music. Ever since I was a child I’ve felt a strong emotional connection with music, I don’t think it’s uncommon to feel so affected by music, but I have always felt it was particularly strong in me. And the song I have been working on gave me this overwhelming sense of hope and inspiration… and I think most of all self-love. All of these emotions hit me like a truck of bricks and I broke down into tears. Which is a weird thing to do when you have a live mic feeding back the sounds of your own sobbing into a headset.
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It’s something I’ve actually felt compelled to do for years when I’m making music, but have always held it back for fear of it somehow being inappropriate… or maybe for fear of what people would think about my being inspired by my own music. Which is another thing I want to let go of. It feels like I’ve really unlocked something here. I’ve always found it hard to cry. And that felt like a new kind of crying, it wasn’t sadness this time – it was more like hope and love. This all makes me wonder if I might be finally learning how to open up in that way.
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*As a result, I should probably add here that things will probably change in regards to this blog. I’m finding I’m not really using wordpress quite as much, and enjoy Tumblr a lot more (I’m sure I’m not the first to make this distinction). And I feel like it would be a bold move to start writing these kinds of posts in-line with my music. Particularly as a lot of my songs are about things I think about and would probably write blogs about. So in the near future keep an eye on tessbmusic.tumblr.com, and there may end up being more similar kinds of blog posts on there. In the mean time I’ll be editing which posts I keep on here, to ease myself out of this all-or-nothing mindset I’ve got myself into.
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