The Real Me: A Journey to Radical Self-Acceptance

The beginnings of a better way to live.

“Life is short. Don’t waste it being sad. Be who you are, be happy, be free, be whatever you want to be.”

-Learning to accept ourselves as who we are and enjoy life for what it is-


Hello everybody!

Oh, how I’ve missed you. WOW, it’s been a while — almost 2 months to be exact.

I have been here, there, and everywhere. Here’s a quick recap on what I’ve been up to the past couple months…

  1. I went to Florida with my mom, sister, and some friends for Spring Break! If you didn’t get a chance to see my vlog, check it out here.
  2. I saw my second semester of college come to a close. Look for a post coming soon about everything I learned from my first year of college.
  3. My family got a cat! His name is Lumi, but he doesn’t respond to Lumi, so he is now Kitty.
  4. I got an internship! Not just any internship, either – one I have been wanting for years. More details to follow. I know, I’m the worst 😉
  5. I got to go back to my high school to see one of my best friends attend her junior prom. Maddy looked absolutely breathtaking in her Sherry Hill dress:

what a beauty💕 love you, darling.

A post shared by MARIA HEINEN (@mariaheinen6) on


I have loads more to tell you all, but that will have to be saved for future posts. For now, let me explain the major reason why I haven’t been blogging, using social media, or being very present as I usually am.

I recently picked up this book that was recommended to me. It’s called Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-AcceptanceHm. Radical self-acceptance. What in the world is that?

I didn’t know, either. Ever since I was young, I displayed confidence and calmness everywhere I went. But did I actually?

Well, I sure pretended to. I was the girl with the done-up hair, the makeup done just right, wearing the magnificent clothes. I danced through life, exuding confidence, making it seem as though everything in my life was just fine. I didn’t allow myself to show others what was really happening inside my head.

Inside was pain. Pain from rejections, losses, feelings of unworthiness, doubts. For a while it was easy to feign being “Maria Without Problems” but that couldn’t last forever.

Keeping it all together got real difficult for me. Losses of relationships, deaths, and hospital visits filled my 2016 and spilled over into my 2017. And, because I refused to be vulnerable with people outside of my immediate family, I couldn’t keep up the act of having everything “just so”. I started to shut down. The people who thought they knew me actually didn’t, as they could only see the happy mask I had worn for months if not years. I shut them out, thinking they wouldn’t like this new “Maria With Problems”.

I stopped wearing makeup, wore only sweats, and could hardly face myself, let alone anyone else. I lived in fear. It affected everything.


Self-acceptance:

An individual’s satisfaction or happiness with oneself, and is thought to be necessary for good mental health. Self-acceptance involves self-understanding, a realistic, albeit subjective, awareness of one’s strengths and weaknesses. It results in an individual’s feeling about oneself, that they are of “unique worth”. – Wikipedia

What happened to my feeling of “unique worth“? Well, perhaps I never felt it after all. Maybe my years of putting on a strong face every time a girl said something mean or rejected me, an adult ignored or interrupted me, a total stranger negatively commented on the way that I looked, was just that: a face, a mask, hiding the pain and struggles I felt inside.

Now this is not to say that I am angry at myself for that mask. Sure, I wish I could’ve been authentic and genuine every time something got to me, or every time I experienced pain. But the past is the past, it is what it is. I can’t change it and quite honestly, I don’t want to. I have been given a second chance at life, a chance to be wholly, uniquely, authentically, me. And I will take that chance.

Today marks the day I accept who I am, all of my flaws, misgivings, doubts, mistakes, pain, and weaknesses included. Will you join me?

No retouching. No covering over acne. No fancy backdrop. No makeup. This is the real me.

xoxo Maria

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