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Old 11-01-2009, 01:06 PM   #59
Fascinita
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Originally Posted by olwen View Post
Fascinita, let me offer up an alternate point of view. I never once thought that accepting oneself meant it wasn't okay to change. In fact just the oppposite. Accepting oneself means you have to be able to accept the changes you go thru in addition to the process of changing. Even if along the way you find out things about yourself that surprise you and make you uncomfortable that is okay cause it's all part of who you are and that is how you learn who you are. It's impractical to imagine ourselves as hard rocks that can't be molded, rather we are more like clay or water. Tho clay may change shape, it is still clay. Water may fit into any space, but it is still water.

I realize this is what you experienced and I'm not trying to invalidate your feelings or say they are wrong. They are what they are, but I am frankly shocked that anyone would think of self acceptance that way. It just never occured to me....it only seems logical to me that we should change in some ways as we get older. To me acceptance is just being able to accept who you are at every stage in that journey and if you don't accept who you are, it means something is wrong and something must be done to achieve some equilibrium...if you don't like something then change it. If changing something about yourself is hard (honestly most things are), then it's okay to accept that too as long as you can be happy with that but if you can't then it's all the more reason to try to change. Afterall, isn't life really about finding that equilibrium or in other words, following your heart?

I don't understand why the persuit of happiness needs to be something we should stay away from just because it's hard or painful. The payoff is contentment and to me that seems worth the struggle.

Olwen, I'm just offering my views. I've presented them as such. What works for me may not work for everyone else.

As well, I'm explaining why I think it's potentially harmful to codify what will lead anyone to their "happiness." Using terms that signify a concept that is obviously going to play out differently for everyone, in a way that suggests that there is one answer, doesn't seem productive to me.

That's the essence of what I'm saying. There is nothing in what I'm saying that even remotely suggests that we should be opposed to people finding their happiness. Just the opposite, in fact.

I suppose what I see as the difference between "self-acceptance" and "compassion" is that the first is a pop-psych term that's used blindly to mean anything from "I'm a fuck up and that's OK" to "I have body image problems and maybe I'd be better off being kinder to myself." No matter. If someone individually prefers "self-acceptance," I hope it's crystal clear that I have no problem with that. Nothing in the way I've conducted this dialogue suggests that I'm picking bones with anyone's individual choices. My only problem is when we, as groups, begin to want to dictate "self-acceptance" as a prescribed way out of what ails us.

And anyone who doesn't agree with me that it's counter-productive to speak with authority about what will make all fat people happy--or even just fat people in a sub-category of fat people... this way of classifying people strikes me as de-humanizing, for the record--can easily ignore what I have to say. I've been happy to talk to some of you about it, but it looks like that's just caused up more of a stir. It's not my intention to "shock" anyone by advocating compassion for self and all human beings as something we can all opt into, beyond codified ideas that are easily confused with normative directives. Compassion, I feel, is something everyone has intuitive access to. "Self-acceptance," because it's held up so frequently in authoritative ways as "ideal"--by the media and by the mental health community, for example--is a concept that may need explaining. And who does the explaining? Who gets to define what is "good" for self-acceptance?

No matter. For me this has now become an issue of expressing different views on what it means to be fat in the world.

It appears that my views are quite unorthodox. lol I hope there is room for them here without their constantly being challenged or misread. I was glad that last night it seemed I had made some progress and that my place in this dialogue had been confirmed. I'm glad to try to explain what I mean, but at a certain point, I begin to feel like I'm doing a whole lot of explaining just to validate the appropriateness of my views here.

Your post contains a number of ideas, olwen, which have nothing to do with what I've been saying. Maybe you're putting words in my mouth. Maybe I've failed to explain myself. I enjoy discussing this with you, but it looks like we're not understanding each other. Maybe we can agree that we both want good things for fat people and leave it at that.

For anyone reading, the first two paragraphs of this post are the most important viz. the topic at hand.
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Last edited by Fascinita; 11-01-2009 at 01:23 PM.
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