Self Acceptance is the antidote to the fear of change and in so is the pathway to a lasting, dynamic happiness. In other words, self-acceptance is the key to happiness. The opposite of happiness is suffering and we suffer when we fail to accept ourselves. In this post we will dig into what self acceptance really means, and how we can practice it in our daily lives.
What is Self Acceptance?
Self acceptance is a deep appreciation of who we are, flaws, quirks, and all. It is a self-compassion and a willingness to be who we are. In self-acceptance we let go of our ego, our insecurities, our fears, our shame, our guilt, our criticisms, our judgements. We drop the masks that we have been wearing for so long. We drop the pretense. We drop the masks of who we think we should be to be loved, accepted, and understood. Self acceptance means we accept ourselves as we are now, not who we were in the past, or who we may be in the future. It means we accept that we are not perfect, but we accept and embrace the fact that we are human. We accept that we are a work in progress.
Why is Self Acceptance Important?
Self acceptance is the antidote to the fear of change and in so is the pathway to a lasting, dynamic happiness. If we can accept ourselves for who we are in this moment, we can then be open to change. We can be open to the changes in our lives. If we resist change we suffer. If we resist letting go of old habits, friendships, relationships, self-images, we suffer. If we resist the aging process, we suffer. If we resist death, we suffer. If we resist growth, we suffer. If we resist facing the reality of who we are, we suffer.
Self acceptance is the way out of suffering. It is the way to embrace the change that is coming our way. When we accept the present moment, we are able to accept the past and the future. This is the way to be at peace with our lives. This is the way to be happy.
How to Practice Self Acceptance
Self acceptance begins with self awareness. We can’t accept ourselves if we don’t know who we are. We start by becoming aware of our thoughts, our feelings, our needs, our desires, our fears, our strengths, our weaknesses. When we are aware of ourselves, we can then pay attention to what we are telling ourselves about ourselves. This is the beginning of self-acceptance.
As we pay attention to ourselves, we begin to see what we are doing to ourselves. We see that we are our own worst critic, and we see that we are our own harshest judge. We see that we are giving ourselves a hard time and beating ourselves up. We see that we blame ourselves for everything that goes wrong, and that we criticize ourselves for every mistake we make. We see that we give ourselves a hard time for not being as successful as we think we should be. We see that we think we should be someone we are not. We see that we are giving ourselves a hard time for being a human being.
We see that we are our own biggest obstacle to happiness.
This is the awakening. This is the beginning of self-acceptance. This is the beginning of self compassion. This is the beginning of loving ourselves. This is the beginning of a deep appreciation of who we are.
Self acceptance is the antidote to the fear of change and in so is the pathway to a lasting, dynamic happiness. This is what we really want. We want to be happy. We want to be at peace with ourselves. We want to be free of suffering. The more we accept ourselves, the easier it is to accept others. When we accept ourselves, we become more loving and compassionate.