Sunday, October 2nd, 2011...11:34 am
SELF-ACCEPTANCE: October 2011
Each month I encourage a different ‘inner’ focus for contemplation and study. During October, I encourage you to examine your current state of ‘self-acceptance’.
The degree to which you are self-accepting is driven by your inner work. Self-acceptance is something you can wholly experience in your adult life – with conscious attention and effort to your inner thoughts and beliefs, and by challenging the negative messaging you received in childhood. It is not simply a matter of convincing yourself that you accept who you are.
Rather, it is through the work of honouring yourself, as you also strive to become better, for true acceptance of your whole being comes with pride of our true nature to be loving, kind beings together with work on the parts of our nature that at times, falters from this.
Likely, as you begin any kind of inner work, you may experience more self-criticism at the outset, largely because of the illumination of there being “so much work to do”. With self-awareness, you are acutely observant of the things that need ‘work’ or changing, making true acceptance an even harder task to achieve.
Having high standards if fine as long as you view yourself through loving eyes. Berating yourself simply causes your spirit to sink. True self-acceptance means loving yourself unconditionally. You accept who you are even as you may be making changes and challenging yourself to be more. The idea here is that even as you already are a perfect being, your human nature (your ego, fear, and the self-doubts that are created by critical thoughts) will create both inner discomfort and outer behavior that goes against the true nature of what you are capable of. For this reason, being observant and aware allows you to see the self-sabotage and destruction that can occur.
The idea of self-acceptance is to be kind and patient with yourself as you make changes and self-evolve. Remember it is far easier to learn self-acceptance if you like and appreciate the person you are.
Self-acceptance becomes impossible to realize if you constantly compare yourself to others. You cannot expect to be self-accepting if you are constantly critiquing yourself based on the qualities or life of another person. Your standards for self-acceptance can never be something you measure up to another person.
For anyone who has been struggling with the self-acceptance, I encourage you to find the positive qualities – the things that you appreciate most about yourself. What do you already accept and value about who you already are? This is a huge starting place to embracing self-acceptance.
Next, ask yourself what aspects would you like to be accepting of but aren’t? How can you let go of the “shoulds” you tell yourself and simply agree that you can find beauty / happiness / love / grace / acceptance in what you have, know, are… RIGHT NOW?
To actively choose self-acceptance in this moment means that you may still work toward becoming more, but that you continue to find the positives in yourself now. Indeed this is how you start to accept rather than judge, critique, dislike, or loathe.
As with all inner work, you must do it for it to actually take effect. I encourage you to focus this month on becoming self-accepting of your true nature.