In the hopes of shattering stereotypes surrounding self-awareness, let’s take a gritty look at its underbelly.

Self-acceptance isn’t all fairy tales and unicorns. The beauty of awareness is that it has put in its work. It has dirt under its nails and cracked cuticles.

I used to give my clients a story of a dirty fridge when we talked about self-acceptance. When we avoid cleaning out our fridge, we just keep piling new stuff in front of it. An outsider may think that it’s a plentiful and healthy fridge. On the contrary it’s a stinky mess. When all the newer food is finally gone, what are you left with? The jar of pickles stuck to the glass. Hopefully there aren’t rotten tomatoes at the bottom of the veggie drawer. Hey, I’m no saint. I’ve had a funky mess before.

What’s the gift in actually cleaning that mess?

You get mad.

You wrestle with guilt.

You may rush to clean it so no one will see it.

And then you develop an appreciation.

You think about how you effed up.

You re-consider how it got to this level.

Depending on how many people you live with, you may preach new standards for this clean fridge. You will now protect the sanctity of this holy vessel. Anyone in its presence must respect it as well.

“This fridge should never get to this level AGAIN!”

Unfortunately, people who don’t clean the fridge won’t respect the fridge.

And now you must act like a bodyguard and call people out on their disrespectful fridge behavior. Because Lord knows you are NOT going through that clean up again!

This is boundaries.

This is protecting what you’ve spent so much time on.

This is why therapists, smart friends and family members wince when you jump from relationship to relationship. This is why you need to be aware of shady spending habits after you just finished paying off a bill.

This is why band-aid remedies like rebound lovers, pain medication, flat tummy teas, a girl’s night and avoidance don’t always work. Sometimes people’s dirt is so thick that a quick fix is just stuffing the fridge again.

Once you get to the root of your insecurities, sit and make friends with it.

Then release it and sit with that space. Be careful that you don’t try and fill up that space again.

Fullness isn’t always a sign of success. Minimalists, feel free to applaud at this point.

Fullness and clutter are no longer healthy. Accumulated dust is why we can’t breathe. Click To Tweet

Sit with that clean fridge, protect the beauty of its spaces and lean into being whole again.

How will you make space for your self-acceptance this week?