The Epitome of Self-Acceptance

Melodie VavalJuly 13, 2022Who Am I?

Having lived 18 years in a very narrow-minded community, I can, with full confidence, make the statement that a scarce amount of people in said community promote self-awareness and self-understanding.

Where I grew up, people make little to no effort in encouraging the previously mentioned things. This phenomenon results in very egotistical and prideful people within the community, which in turn makes the younger bunch unable to be self-aware in certain ways. We have become entitled due to the community in which we grew up. Our mindsets have become fermented, and not in a good way.

On a more positive note, I was lucky enough to have my tight-knit community – including my mother – steer me away from the looser-knit group of people I was forced to look up to. My mother’s many self-awareness and self-understanding practices are the reason why I’ve been able to deviate from my insular community. She’s always allowed me to be who I am and taught me self-acceptance from a very young age. I can distinctly remember her repeating to me: “You are smart, you are beautiful, you are important.” She did not repeat these words to me to make me believe that I am perfect, she said them to me so I can accept myself for who I am.

Someone else I owe kudos to for promoting such things in my community is my dance teacher. Following every single ballet class, she would take time out of her day to initiate a self love ritual for my dance peers and I. A few of the words she always says that have stuck with me are: “You are enough.”

To me, that is the epitome of self-acceptance.

Melodie Vaval is a high school senior at Quisqueya Christian School in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.