How well do you accept yourself?
Self-acceptance is a big part of living a whole balanced life and one of the keys to healthy mental functioning. Ram Dass, a spiritual teacher and author, says, “Your problem is you’re too busy holding onto your unworthiness.” When we dwell on our unworthiness and when we don’t accept ourselves, we are wasting precious time and energy. A seed does not look around and say, “I’m not a beautiful flower yet, something’s wrong with me. I’m not worthy.” You already are perfect, just as you are. We all blossom as we grow and learn, and just because you are going to be in a different place or have different things tomorrow does not mean you are not worth accepting today.
Growing into your greatness starts with accepting who and how you are in this very moment, not the next moment or the one after that. The children’s book, The Giving Tree, shows us a boy growing up to be a man who keeps thinking of all of the things that are going to make him happy. However, none of the milestones or achievements he reaches truly make him happy, because he is projecting into the future that he will be happy when, rather than looking at who he is and what he has right now, and accepting himself in that moment. It is natural to want to achieve things and to aspire for more. There is nothing wrong with that. The wrong comes when we do not accept what is right now.
Comparing yourself with others will only make you feel badly about yourself, even when you compare yourself to someone who seemingly does not have it as well as you. You might feel better about yourself temporarily, but comparing also causes separation. This separation causes depression, because then you feel separate from the source and you begin to feel isolated. When you compare yourself to other people and feel better than or less than, you are pulled away from wholeness and connectedness.
Put your energy into doing something productive.
When you start to dwell on what is wrong with you and the things you do not accept about yourself, shift your focus to the positive. Take that energy and put it into what you do want. Take a step forward in what you want to change, to achieve, or look at what is right in front of you. How could you really appreciate this moment? Connect with the people around you. Instead of worrying about your next task or responsibility, while in conversation with another, get out of your own mind by focusing on what is what is happening in this moment.
Look around you.
Notice that no one is perfect. No one has it all together. We all make mistakes. Mistakes are gifts! It has actually been shown that the incredible mother/child bond is created when mothers repair mistakes that happen with their children. It is not through being a perfect mother that this bond is created. It is the process of damage and repair, damage and repair that shows the child that their mother is committed to them and that they can count on her. This is when the bonding happens.
You are not meant to have it all together, otherwise there would be no reason for you to be alive. In what ways do you not accept yourself, and are you willing to take these steps to accept yourself more fully?
Heather Hans, LCSW, MSW, MBA, CPIC, is a Visionary, Healer & Teacher, and the author of The Heart of Self-Love: How to Radiate with Confidence. It is Heather's firm belief that loving oneself is necessary to have fulfilling relationships and a successful life.