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Self-acceptance is important. Accept yourself. This is not a message for those with supposedly low self-esteem. I’m talking to those who have public acceptance and image. The role models. There are lots of people in our community who are great inspiration for many. They live such an exemplary life that they become too big to fail or fall. The expectation of the crowd becomes the yardstick of their public, and sometimes, private conduct. If you’ve ever been the “perfect” child in your family, you’ll understand what I’m saying. When your parents begin to say, “why can’t you just be/behave like your sister/brother” to your siblings; then, you’re the one. Unknown to them, the pedestal becomes a burden. You begin to tailor your life carefully, not deviate from the golden child image. Your other siblings, while they live reckless and free as kids should, you’re locked up in the garb of the model child. Also, because the siblings are often scolded using you like the standard, they begin to dislike you. They begin to highlight your faults. They want to report every slip you make just to show that you’re not always a good boy or girl. Then, you begin to struggle to either justify your mistakes or to defend yourself against their “attacks” on your person. Worse still, you become aloof while translating their fault-finding as jealousy. So, you can’t ever be wrong.

Deep down, however, you begin to doubt yourself. You start to wonder if you are what they say you are or you’re just playing the part. No one knows the struggle because each time, you must wear the mask of the model child, student, artist, or public figure in your environment. Sometimes, it may lead to depression. Sometimes, it becomes an albatross around your neck. You carry that burden, and then, one day, you’ll make a mistake or lose your guard at a moment of weakness. Like a pack of cards, all the years you’ve invested in keeping up the image will collapse. The public that has always looked up to you, the parents that have always been proud of you will suddenly be disappointed. They will begin to feel like all the while, you’ve been pretending. They’ll forget all the time you’ve been good. You’ll lose the audience.

In response, you’ll then withdraw from society. So many thoughts would run through your mind–dark and harmful. You’ll become bitter and angry at yourself. For a long time, you’ve refused to do a lot of things because you’re worried about what people would say when they find out. Here’s a newsflash, you’re fallible. You’re human. You deserve to make mistakes. Take the mask off and live free. Life is transient, live a full life. Laugh at your silly and grave mistakes. Refuse to be the yardstick of other people’s life expectations. Accept yourself. Accept your flaws. Accept you’re human. When you fall, dust yourself up, learn the lesson and continue to live your life unapologetically. Trust me, you’ll have a new audience who will place no expectation on you. So, when you stare at yourself in the mirror, accept yourself. When you’re alone with your thoughts, accept yourself. Let the public worry about anything else.