Madison Bowie on TMP!

Madison Blue Bowie is one of my favorite people on earth! We met last year during our Freshman year at GRU! She is one of the few people that has seen me at my worst, as well as my best! She is my life coach, my voice of reason and my best friend! She has an amazing story to tell, and I want you all to be able to here it~

The word “acceptance” is scary. The word itself is fine, I mean, yeah, the double c’s can be a doozy, but what I’m talking about is the feeling that the word invokes. To me, the word “acceptance” always carried a negative connotation, meaning when I hear the word I immediately feel all of these not so positive emotions. I’m afraid of the unknown; and as much as I would like to say, “Oh no, there is no way I’m a control freak! I am totally chill all the time!” I can’t, I get so anxious when I feel like I’m not in control of situations or when I feel like I don’t have a say in the way things go. I bring that up because those emotions: fear, anxiety, anger, sadness and many more like those, make their presence known and felt as we go through the process of gaining or not gaining acceptance. Call me crazy, but I believe that it’s possible to minimize if not totally get rid of these feelings as we go about this process. I’d like to share my story of self-acceptance with y’all and I hope you and I can take something away from it by the end of this.
Puberty sucks. All of the sudden our endocrine and reproductive systems have woken up and going about a million miles a second and as we’re rapidly growing, changing and shaping so are our insecurities. I’m “like really tall” and I’m “big but not that big” (Yes, people have said those things to me.) and those two characteristics alone can make for some serious insecurities, but when those two get together, sweet molasses, oh and I had braces, so there’s that. Middle school was rough, it was such a dark time for me and I don’t want to go into it all but I remember that I was always so ashamed of myself, and so angry at myself, and I was so embarrassed by what I looked like, dressed like, acted like, just everything about myself. It wasn’t until eighth grade that I decided that I was going to try to start liking myself. I remember reading the Serenity Prayer, God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”, for the fist time and not even being dramatic, it changed my life. I began to become more okay with what I knew I couldn’t change, things like my height, my personality, the way I responded and dealt with things and just life in general, the things that are a part of who I am and things that will continue to make me who I am. I stayed up late so many nights just thinking deeply on who I was and who I wanted to be and just examining all aspects of my life and I learned so much about myself. With really knowing myself came a new and ridiculously high level of self-confidence. I think that’s where it all starts, know in your heart who you are and when outside and sometimes inside forces try to attack you with all of this negativity built on lies it won’t hurt as much because at the end of the day you know better and you know the truth. 
We are all fighting our own battles, we are all on our own journey and we all have things about us that no one knows about. They make us all different but they also make us all the same. After everything’s been said and done and underneath it all we each have this insane need to be liked and feel that we’re liked. Call me an optimist, but I think that no matter how damaged you are, no matter what you’ve been through, seen, felt, no matter how crappy or great life has been for you, love is what matters most and it wins, every time. I’m saying this all because when I meet someone new or I’m dumped into an environment in which I have to gain acceptance, I’m not threatened, scared, nervous, anxious or any other emotion and I don’t see them as a threat, opponent, enemy, or in a higher standing, because I know deep down that we both want the same thing: acceptance. I probably sound like such a happy go lucky, psychedelic loving, mind altering drug using, mother earth loving, festival going, hippie hipster, (If that’s you, I’m not trying to offend you, I actually wish I could be more like you.)  but knowing that and reminding myself of that as I approach new relationships and new experiences with people has made it all so much easier and less emotional.
I’m very generous when it comes to giving compliments, You could attribute this to my “sweet” and “positive” personality, or you could say that it’s because my love language is words so I in turn love on others with words (What’s your love language?), and it may very well be a little bit of both but it’s really because my mom taught us to always be “building, not slamming” and I’ve carried that with me. I love to see someone’s eyes light up when I tell them that they look great in a pair of pants, I love that smile a lady gets when I tell that her make up is particularly good, I love to see how much taller men stand when I tell them that they look handsome. I don’t do it so I’ll get complimented back, I actually don’t handle compliments very well, I compliment the person back and it becomes this sort of compliment battle that could have been avoided had I just said “thank you”, but whatever, moving on. Kind smiles, gentle gestures and positive words are so imperative to the “building up” process of self-confidence and acceptance because it’s like your compliments show that you’re paying attention and notice them and their efforts. And besides that, who doesn’t like to get told they look hot? 
I notice things, I watch people, and I learn people. I’m a Psych major, okay?! No but really, in doing all of that I’m able to see people deeper and therefore I pick up on more hidden or usually unseen things. I take these things, whether they’re things you don’t want me to notice and wish I hadn’t or things that no one’s ever noticed before and you’re so glad some one has, and in doing so it shows you that I see YOU and I accept you, I notice it and I like you because of or despite it. Doing this builds great friendships, makes you focus on the profound rather than the superficial and most importantly it helps the other person along their journey of total self-acceptance. In saying that, let me tell you this, Rickey and I are such great friends (he’s my absolute best friend, my soul brother, and life long friend) because among other things I have seen him and he has seen me in ways no one else has and we accept and love each other because of and sometimes despite it. This acceptance for the other is a catalyst to finding acceptance in ourselves. It’s like: you see all this crap but you’re still here and you’re okay with it all, so I’m going to be okay with it too. We have seen each other grow more confident in ourselves and we have helped each other become surer of ourselves. 
If you’re struggling with accepting all (mind, body, soul) of yourself I hope that my story has inspired you to begin the rewarding journey of gaining it. I hope that you’re no longer afraid of the word “acceptance” and it’s meaning. I hope that my story has encouraged you all to commit to being the Miracle-Grow for other’s pursuit of self-acceptance. 

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