What would happen if you stopped fighting, and gave yourself permission to feel? Not just the good things, but everything? It is not depression, anxiety or feeling “stuck” that truly hurts us; it is our active resistance to experiencing these uncomfortable feelings that causes us pain.
Let’s say you wake up with low energy, thoughts of hopelessness, and a complete lack of motivation – this is a signal from you to you. It’s a sure sign that something in your mind (or in your life) is out of alignment, and it is a calling for you to pay attention to that red flag. So, what do most people do? They either fall into victim mentality, thinking “Poor me. Why me?” or they push the feelings down in an effort to avoid them. They may even take a pill. And so, the feelings return again and again, knocking louder and louder. Still, many respond by turning up the noise, refusing to hear the knocks. This is madness!
“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.” ― Brené Brown
Open the door. Invite in depression. Invite anxiety. Invite self-hatred. Invite toxic shame. Simply allow the sensations to be there. Give yourself full permission to feel whatever is going on in the present moment. Hear their message. Give them a hug. Accept their tirades as exaggerated mistruths typical of any upset person. It is when you love your darkness that you will truly know your light. Accept yourself exactly as you are right now, and you will step into your true power.
“The difference between my darkness and your darkness is that I can look at my own badness in the face and accept its existence while you are busy covering your mirror with a white linen sheet. The difference between my sins and your sins is that when I sin I know I’m sinning while you have actually fallen prey to your own fabricated illusions. I am a siren, a mermaid; I know that I am beautiful while basking on the ocean’s waves and I know that I can eat flesh and bones at the bottom of the sea. You are a white witch, a wizard; your spells are manipulations and your cauldron from hell yet you wrap yourself in white and wear a silver wig.”
― C. JoyBell C.
If you are thinking something along the lines of, “if people really knew me, then they wouldn’t love me” then you have already given your power away. This kind of programming will drive you to perform like a circus monkey in order to compensate for the personal flaws you perceive. When you stop living your life based on what others think of you, your real life begins. Don’t let others box you into their idea of what they think you should be. A confined identity is a miserable way to exist. Be you and live free. Trust that in living true to yourself, you will attract people that support and love you, exactly as you are.
The way you think about yourself determines your reality. Everything you want in life must first be created inside you before it can be experienced in the physical world. To do this you must unlearn negative repetitive patterns and reclaim your authentic self. You are not being hurt by the way people think about you. Most people are simply a reflection of how you think about yourself. You are what you are. Deal with it or change.
“No amount of self-improvement can make up for any lack of self-acceptance.”
― Robert Holden
There will, of course, be good things, neutral things, and things that you may not be too proud to admit. In order to build genuine self-worth, we must be real and authentic with ourselves at all times. This requires wholeheartedly acknowledging your true nature including the good, the bad, and the ugly. You are not perfect because, if you were, you wouldn’t be here at what we call “Earth School”. Yes, you have flaws, you’ve made mistakes, repeated negative repetitive patterns and failed miserably time and again. Some programming is tougher to spot and intercept than others. Some lessons take longer to learn than others – especially when you’ve been ignoring the knocking for months.. maybe even years.
This is your path. This path brought you here to this moment. It’s a part of who you are. When you know better, you do better. Forgive yourself for everything you’ve done in the past and accept yourself unconditionally without judgment or excuses. This is you. All of you. This is who you are. Accept that by acknowledging it.
“We put on masks we believe will be more acceptable to the world than the truth of who we are. In doing so we sacrifice the gift of self-acceptance.”
― Jane Monica-Jones
Mirror Work Totally Works
Lock eyes with your reflection in the mirror and don’t look away. The day you look away is the day you start to lose yourself. Demonstrate your self-worth by saying to you “I forgive you for not being the way I wanted you to be. I love and accept you exactly as you are right now”. The first time you do this there will be plenty of knocking, and this is your chance to reprogram your mind. Fully accepting yourself, in spite of all your flaws, weaknesses, and limitations is absolutely critical for developing a high level of self-worth.
Who will you love if not yourself? Other people? How can you love someone for anything but their raw, naked humanity? How can you say you love someone if it is not for their flaws and quirks, snorts and hurts, triggers and tears? Anything else is not love. It is idealisation. And, as long as you do it to yourself, you will do it to everyone else. You will not truly love anyone or anything until those eyes in the mirror soften up and embrace the beauty that is already within.
This is you. You are being vulnerable, authentic, and real. Surrender forgiveness to it all and flow acceptance to anything that comes knocking. Embrace who you are fully and wholeheartedly. Embrace the fact that you will no longer allow outside forces to define you. Only in this way will you finally let go of everything that’s been holding you back all these years. In fact, your level of happiness is directly determined by your level of self-acceptance, so feel your happiness rise.
“Forgiveness is the path to Healing; Healing is the path to Self-Acceptance.”
― J.R. Incer
The most adventurous journey to embark on is the journey to yourself. The most exciting thing to discover is who you truly are. The most treasured pieces that you will ever find are all the pieces of you. When you practice self-acceptance you start from where you are now and you become your biggest fan, cheering yourself on through the challenges of growth.
Love blossoms from the inside out. That’s why it is so important to do the work necessary to heal our emotional wounds, to love ourselves and stand strong in who we are. Only then, are we truly free to give and receive love, unconditionally and in abundance. The relationship you have without yourself sets the stage for all the other relationships in your life, so cut yourself some slack and show yourself some compassion.
6 Self-Acceptance Practices
All you need is a mirror. Look into your eyes, breathe deeply and start repeating positive affirmations out loud. This powerful practice has a huge impact on all areas of your life when worked into your daily routine. You don’t need any preparation, knowledge, experience or even confidence. We recommend saying “I love and accept you exactly as you are right now”. It’s a game-changer!
Celebrate Your Strengths
Because we are much better collectors of our shortcomings rather than our strengths, it’s important to practice focusing on your strengths and abilities by writing them down. If you’re having a tough time coming up with a list, name one strength each day. You can start with something basic like “I’m a kind person”. You may even want to make a list of all the hardships you have overcome, all the goals you’ve accomplished, all the connections you’ve made, and all the lives you’ve touched for the better. Keep it close by, review it frequently, and add to it often.
Consider the People Around You
What kind of people do you surround yourself with? Notice who speaks negatively to you. Who reinforces your negative self-talk? Why do you allow these people to hurt you this way? Are they just doing your own dirty work because you’re not willing to choose a different reality? Stop punishing yourself. Distance yourself from people who bring you down. Surround yourself with people who accept you and believe in you.
Past regrets can prevent us from practicing self-acceptance. Forgive yourself, and move on. Whether it’s about something you’ve done or a personality quirk that resulted in a social faux pas, it’s important to learn from the mistake, make an effort to grow, and accept that you can’t change the past. When the tinges of remorse resurface, show yourself some compassion. You made the best decision with information you had at the time. The behaviour or decision might not seem correct in hindsight, but at the time it seemed like the best choice.
Quiet Your Inner Critic
Your inner critic is NOT the voice of reason. It’s a big fat liar. If you wouldn’t say what it says to you to a loved one, it’s unwarranted, and harsh judgment – sometimes even abuse. Practice a positive mantra to quiet your inner critic, something like “I am safe. I am well.”
Let It Go
Many of our problems with self-acceptance come from our inability to reconcile who we are as compared with the idealised dreams of our youth. Maybe you dreamed about becoming an Olympic athlete or a multi-millionaire or staying married forever or having a big family. Whatever your dreams or goals, mourn that they didn’t come to pass, but don’t stay there. Acknowledge things turned out different than you wanted and get back to being the best you possible.
“Only by conquering the past can you appreciate the future”
― Dahi Tamara Koch
Some people walk through a hallway with covered mirrors – the hallway is lined with mirrors but there are blankets covering each of them. They go through life believing in an image of themselves that isn’t real, and an image of themselves standing in the world and relative to the world, that isn’t real. If you happen to be in that hallway and pull the blankets off the mirrors, these people may think that you’re hurting them, when they’re really just seeing their own reflection for the first time. Sometimes the most horrendous thing a person can see, is all the hidden things inside them, the things they’ve covered, hidden, buried; the things they choose not look at. The thing is, you’re not hurting them, you’re setting them free.
Self-acceptance is the starting point in life which makes other things possible. It celebrates the fullness and joy of being alive, of being who we truly are, and loving ourselves enough to accept painful truths. Self-acceptance is, at its simplest, the experience of self, in the here and now, as a complete human being, with all the glories and problems that Earth School entails. So accept yourself exactly as you are right now so you can create the life you want to live in.