“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.” Buddha.
I’ve never had a problem seeing the beauty in others, yet when it comes to myself and seeing myself as beautiful, that vehicle ground to a screeching halt and bogged.
Self acceptance is something most people struggle with to some degree, whether it is not accepting their body, their status in life, their skills, looks, job … I’ve struggled with self acceptance my whole life. Whatever you are fighting with separates you and chains you to suffering. Whatever you accept frees you.
As I grew spiritually and grew older, the low self-esteem lessened somewhat, but still the not good enough and lack of self-acceptance was there. I never felt comfortable with who I was, comfortable in my body and my own skin. So of course as part of my healing journey I became a yoga teacher! And as I teach my students self-acceptance, grounding into the body and natural being, supporting them to nurture themselves, I teach and remind myself.
I knew where the terrible self-acceptance deficiency came from, it was from being adopted at birth and believing I was adopted because there was something wrong with me. I went at it from so many different angles, healing modalities, spiritual interventions, but everything drew a blank. The only thing that started the journey to self-acceptance was Oneness, and the understanding that a lack of self-acceptance is the cause of suffering, and is actually the suffering itself. As I started to grow spiritually I opened to Grace and I realized that not to love and accept myself was to demean the creation of the Divine.
I discovered that the way to heal the lack of self-acceptance was to connect with my true nature, my Divinity and to keep building that. This is an ongoing journey! But the more I have grown spiritually and the more I accept myself, the more I discover joy and freedom. When I focus on my true nature and let all that is not that nature drop away, the more I start to feel appreciation for myself and my gifts. Self-acceptance is really about accepting what is, and understanding that everything in creation is Divine. It is impossible for anything not to be Divine.
Ways to start the journey to self-acceptance:
- Break up with the meaning you give to things. It means nothing whether you get it right or wrong, it just is.
- Small successes are best. Set yourself up for success. Celebrate the little things and do it in small chunks little and often. Praising yourself daily for the tiny things, not only actions and goals that are met, but for ways of being: for situations, and for kindness shown to others and yourself.
- See yourself through the eyes of a loving friend who sees the kindness you showed the lonely dog ignored by everyone else, or your generous encouragement to someone feeling down.
- Be still. Sit in stillness and listen. When I sit in stillness and listen, the answers come out of the stillness. They arise when the mud of my mind settles. Sitting in stillness I find my true nature and I find love.
- Acceptance leads to healing in and of its self, as acceptance IS the healing. Acceptance is a softening. In acceptance you let go of the masks, the lies, the pretense… like an exhale, you come to truth of being and everything relaxes and settles into the way it is meant to be.
- Expectations, demands on yourself, pressures, stress, all die in the flame of acceptance. Acceptance opens doors to parts of you that you never even knew existed. It buys the tickets to adventure, travel, to the unknown and to greater purpose.
Start the journey of self-acceptance today, for as you accept you receive and open to greater abundance, love and friendship. You make friends with life and you start living. The war ends and love begins.
“You are not accidental. Existence needs you. Without you something will be missing in existence and nobody can replace it.” Osho