SELF-ACCEPTANCE - WHAT DOES THIS REALLY MEAN?
Definition: Choosing to embrace who I am, without exception or judgement. I adore and appreciate who I am and honour myself by not comparing myself with others. I love myself for all the ways in which I am imperfectly, perfectly me.
Self-acceptance teaches you that you are not who you think you are and you become aware between your ego/persona (what you think you should be) and your true self.
As a child you formed beliefs about yourself to fit in with the demands of family, school and society. You moulded yourself based on what was said about who you are, what you will be when you grow up, what you are good at and not good at, your strengths and your weaknesses, what you deserve and what you don’t. This becomes the lense through which you see yourself and the world – your ego/persona.
Your ego judges your efforts and the more you judge yourself the more out of alignment you are with your true self. At any point in time you are either accepting or rejecting yourself. Self-rejection comes from your ego/persona which means that more often than not you will say no to yourself. No to your real desires, no to expressing your needs, no to having your needs met, no to stopping and relaxing, no to making time for yourself, no to letting yourself be helped and no to loving yourself more.
As long as you continue to reject yourself, you will live in fear of being rejected by others. So your persona will try to be the perfect person – and you remould yourself to suit the situation. You become a people pleaser, you don’t express your opinion for fear it may upset another, you avoid conflict, you don’t want to be a burden on others, and you limit yourself or even put yourself down so that others may feel better about themselves in your presence. This self-rejection causes you to be mean to your true self – you don’t make time to listen to yourself, you don’t show appreciation for yourself or even acknowledge yourself, you have poor boundaries when interacting with others, and you put the needs of others before your own.
Self-acceptance is seeing yourself through the eyes of love and your capacity to do this determines your capacity to love others. The less you accept yourself the more you will criticise others.
Self-acceptance is acknowledging that you are loveable just as you are with unique talents and qualities that cannot be compared with each other. Many of us fall into the trap of needing to build an image and image that we believe we are. Truth is that image is false and this will be revealed over time – you can only keep the facade in place for so long before life causes you to look deeper. We all experience challenges in life, we have all made choices that brought about pain, we all have parts of ourselves which are difficult to own, we all experience emotions that challenge us, we all have fears, we all have limitations, we are all vulnerable at different times in our lives but I want to remind you that you are already good enough so please don’t insult your true self or soul by comparing yourself with others.
People who truly accept themselves are always honest with themselves and take responsibility for their role in every situation. They do not blame others or make excuses – they look within themselves to determine the lesson, learn from it and move on. They are able to do this because they are able to meet themselves from a place of compassion and are strong enough to ask for help when needed.
True acceptance is the realization that everything you seek from the outside world is within you – unconditional love, joy and peace are all the qualities of your true self. By the Law of Attraction the more you accept and love yourself the more genuine people you will attract into your life and allow yourself to receive love, peace, happiness and abundance.
Tips to grow Self-Acceptance:
- Awareness – Firstly become aware of when you are criticising yourself or comparing yourself with others. Journal your thoughts and make time to connect with yourself and ask what is behind these words – what fears, what beliefs….
- Stop Judgement – When your ego goes to judge or make a criticism just thank it and then actively shift your thoughts to a place of kindness and compassion and say these affirming words out loud or in your head.
- See only love – See yourself only through the eyes of love as a loving parent would do with a child.
- Stop comparison – Stop comparing yourself with others. We are unique and have been created this way on purpose to each contribute or share our gifts to the world as only we can. As Albert Einstein said “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
- Pause on self-improvement – Stop trying to change yourself into who you wish you could be for long enough to experience who you really are. Self improvement usually starts on the premise that there is something about you that needs fixing and so the ego/persona sets about working of itself, trying to prove itself as somebody seeking the approval, attention, acknowledgement and admiration from others. Robert Holden “No amount of self-improvement can make up for any lack of self-acceptance.”
- Identify self-defeating traits, make peace with it and let it go – When you notice one of your traits causes a dialogue of judgement and criticism, sit with it and understand why you it has served you in the past – thank it and let it go. Eg. Perfectionism kept me under the radar, allowed me to receive praise and adoration from others, allowed me to hide my imperfections, it kept me safe. So when the perfection princess comes out to play I thank her and let her know it’s ok to be me and I am happy in myself.
Thankyou for your time,
Love from me
Karen Ormston is a Professional Life Coach, Intuitive Guide and ThetaHealing Practitioner who is the owner-director of Petite Soul Sanctuary. www.petitesoulsanctuary.com.au
Photo Source: Taken at Petite Soul Sanctuary Tea Party by Raf Po.