Accepting Ourselves

Right now “Self Love” is a big buzz phrase in the spiritual community. Every time I hear that phrase I get this squishy, fuzzy, anything goes mentality sort of feeling. Yes. We need to love ourselves. But it seems that we are loving ourselves into a comatose state of la la land façade and egomania. Maybe it’s the Buddhist teachings I’ve read, but Self Acceptance seems a more measured approach to repairing our world.

Why? Because in our culture LOVE is a feeling more than an action. As someone who strongly believes that language shapes our neuro landscape and ultimately our spiritual, emotional, mental, physical, and societal health I get picky over words. Acceptance is a practice, a verb and a noun. It can be a feeling. But more often in our culture the baggage we attach to the word love is missing from the word acceptance. And to me, that makes it a better place to start.

What is Self Acceptance?

Self Acceptance begins with an honest evaluation of your self. This means looking in the proverbial mirror and truly seeing both strengths and weaknesses. This means radical honesty. There is no glossing over the flaws or exaggeration of strength. It means the use of the word “but” is out of the equation. As in “Well, I tend to run late, but I’m really busy”. Honest – “I tend to run late”. No excuses. This is an inventory.

The next part is probably the hardest – after that long look in the mirror and seeing yourself as you really are you remove all judgement. This means loosing the word “because”. “I run late because {insert self demeaning phrase}.” The fact is simply “I run late”. No judgement. It’s a fact like two plus two equals four. We don’t judge the mathematical fact. We don’t judge a personal fact. We simply accept ourselves exactly how we are.

We see our good and our bad. We see ourselves as we are. From there we have the starting point to decide what areas we want to challenge our behavior without a desire to change our core personage. Self Acceptance is the starting point for personal growth and development. It is active, living, and once we see who we really are – then we can truly love ourselves with honesty instead of a façade we have created.

If you have ever met someone who is “comfortable in their skin” then you have met someone who accepts themselves. Their REAL self without fear or judgement. This person may have a behavior they want to redirect, but they don’t feel the need to change their soul. Some people are born this way – Lucky Duckys that they are. But for the majority of us in Western Culture this is a process. It takes time. It’s a skill.

Accept yourself and then you can truly love yourself. And I promise – that love of the REAL you will give you wings to soar to places you have never imagined.

Be Well and at Peace,

Moriah

* I am not a licensed counselor or mental health worker. If you are really struggling with personal identity, self-esteem, wish to harm yourself, or any other huge challenge – please seek out a compassionate mental health worker. There is never in shame in facing your challenges. Psychology Today has a good search tool.

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