“Accepting being unaccepted." How to think inside and forge ahead when someone in your blended family doesn’t like or accept you.
The desire to be part of a tribe is instinctual. All humans want to belong to a group where they are accepted and loved unconditionally for the person they are. Most, if not all of us have this somewhere in our life. For blended families, this concept can be incredibly challenging. Whether it’s the stepchildren or one biological parent, a lot of times, they are unaccepting of the outsider stepparent coming in.
It is estimated that at least 50% of US families are recoupled or remarried, according to the Stepfamily Foundation. That being said, this issue of being unaccepted is likely more common that people are aware of. I’m a stepmom of 3 years. In the beginning of my journey, I felt completely unaccepted by the biological mother of my stepchildren. Fast forward a few years, and my blended family is thriving and we are a close knit blended family. Many people would ask how that happened and what someone can do when they may never be accepted.
It begins with the health of the mind. We create the reality we experience, even with outside circumstances that present themselves without our control. So, how do we think inside and forge ahead when we may not be accepted or liked?
The most important questions to explore are, “Do you like yourself? What is the motivation for wanting to be liked by this person(s) in the blended family?” Liking and accepting yourself is the foundation for a healthy mindset and the ability to make room for growth. If your self-worth fully relies on the acceptance of others, you will not, nor ever, be happy. It is common to be unaware of where your self worth comes from, so it is important to explore that. If you can honestly conclude that your worth is not based upon the need for approval of others, you are ahead. Naturally, we want to be liked and accepted, but in order to feel a full sense of self-acceptance, and perhaps the acceptance of someone else, you are going to need to live your example. That is the foundation for peace of mind and happiness, not only in a blended family, but this applies to all areas of life. If you have trouble with self-worth, a coach, mentor, or therapist is a great way to gain insight and create new patterns of thinking.
It is very possible that you will never be accepted in your blended family by your definition of acceptance. Though it may bruise the ego, especially if you are doing all you can to contribute, create, or give to create the situation you want, this is a form of control, and control isn’t real outside of our own mind. The only thing you have control over is your choices- choosing how you feel, how you interpret, and how you create. If you are doing things to gain acceptance from someone else, you are attempting to control something you essentially have no ability to control, therefore creating a gateway for unconditional unhappiness.
Choosing to consciously accept something you do not like or cannot change can be really tough on our egos. Of course, our egos push us to react to things that we wouldn’t consider to be optimal. Start choosing to do things for your blended family that have a motivation that has nothing to do with another person. Do it because you choose to give love regardless of what is in it for you. Choose to stop participating in things that are at the expense of your health- over giving and receiving too little or not receiving at all. Choose to make yourself your priority and live your example. External self-care is great, however, it is the mindset that is what will keep the negativity away over a long period of time, if you consciously choose that. Choose the thoughts that you allow in. If you have a thought that brings you pain or anger, tell yourself to delete it and choose a thought that brings joy or gratitude. Continue to focus on feeling what you desire in your life, in the future, as if it’s already happening. You could be surprised. You may find out that your desired future no longer includes the people that are currently in your life now and that is ok. Understanding your motivation is key though, because if you are focused on the fact that you are angry about not being accepted, then choosing to exit based on that motivation will likely bring you more of what you don’t want. What you focus on expands.
Meditation has been a great tool for me to water the garden in my mind and keep it healthy. Having a coach has also been life changing for me. Having someone keep you accountable for separating facts and feelings and staying present to what kind of life you desire to create, is a phenomenal way to break the crappy cyclical patterns you participate in- consciously or subconsciously. Focusing on building your self-worth and creating a mindset that fuels your self-acceptance is what is needed in order to accept being unaccepted in any area of life. The truth is that there will be people around us that don’t like us or choose not to accept us. It is our conscious choice to allow it into our energetic space.
Though not all blended family situations end up "blissfully blended," it is each of our responsibility to be accountable for our own thoughts, words, and actions. Overtime, as you live your example, the people around you may shift in ways you didn’t expect but truly wanted. It starts with your mind.