Finally, we set the standards for our self-acceptance. And once we decide to stop evaluating ourselves or keep the score with ourselves, we can adopt an attitude of forgiveness without judgment. In fact, once we move away from our lifelong habit of evaluating and re-evaluating ourselves – rather than striving to understand our past behavior with compassion – we will find that there is really nothing to forgive. Certainly, we can swear to do better in the future, but we can always accept ourselves exactly as we are today, regardless of our shortcomings. As Robert Holden says in his book Happiness Now! “Happiness and self-acceptance go hand in hand. In fact, your level of self-acceptance determines your level of happiness. The more you accept yourself, the more you allow yourself to accept, receive, and enjoy happiness. In other words, you enjoy as much happiness as you think you are worthy [emphasis added]. Accepting ourselves unconditionally would have been almost automatic if our parents had conveyed a mostly positive message about us – and we grew up in a generally supportive environment. But if this were not the case, we must learn by ourselves to “certify” ourselves to validate our essential OK-ness. And I hardly claim that self-independent assertion has anything to do with becoming complacent, only that we go beyond our habit of constantly judging ourselves. If we ever want to experience deep within ourselves as our normal state of being, our personal fulfillment, and our inner peace, we must first face the challenge of full and unrestricted self-acceptance.
Like a kind of P.S. For those mentioned above, self-acceptance also includes our willingness to recognize and make peace with parts of the self that may have been denied or rejected so far. I am referring here to our illegal or antisocial impulses – our shadow self, which may have frightened or sabotaged us in the past. Nevertheless, it is an essential part of our nature and must be functionally integrated if we are to become whole. As long as we refuse to accept secessionist segments of the self, full and unconditional self-acceptance will remain out of reach forever. If you`re like me, you can make fun of compliments. You shrug your shoulders or direct them to the compliment giver. “No, YOU are awesome. No, YOU are bigger. However, when we practice unconditional acceptance, we challenge ourselves to say two very powerful words. Like many people, I`ve had several careers, five to be exact. Then I got used to writing and chatting with you. To be honest, it`s this career that I like the most.
What for? Because it challenges me to be authentic, authentic and vulnerable. These muddy qualities can be frightening to share, especially publicly. After all, everyone wants to be loved. But as I approach ten years of living in a crazy sexy style and another book launch, I know in my bones: the more I accept who I really am, the more I shine like a diamond. This also applies to you. Given the way the human psyche works, it`s almost impossible not to educate ourselves in the same way we were originally raised. If our caregivers treat us hurtfully, as adults, we will find all sorts of ways to perpetuate this unresolved pain on ourselves. If we were frequently ignored, insulted, accused, or physically punished, we would somehow continue this self-humiliation.
So when we “fight,” we usually follow our parents` example. Since we had to rely so much on them when we were young, and therefore had little authority to question their mixed judgment of us, we felt quite compelled to accept their negative evaluations as valid. They are constantly belittling us. But historically, parents are much more likely to let us know when we`re doing something that bothers them than to recognize us for our more prosocial behavior. To fully understand our current reservations about ourselves, we must also add the disapproval and criticism we may have received from our brothers and sisters, other family members, teachers and peers. It can be assumed that almost all of us enter adulthood with some negative bias. We share a common tendency to blame ourselves or see ourselves as imperfect. It`s as if we all suffer, to some extent, from the same chronic “virus” of self-doubt. Perhaps more than anything else, cultivating self-acceptance forces us to develop more compassion for ourselves. Only when we can better understand and forgive ourselves for things we previously thought were our fault can we ensure the relationship with ourselves that we have so far missed. Being at peace with what is creates a vast and sacred space for healing.
Remember, stress bleeds any life force. Accepting and honoring every gram of Kris allows me to rest and renew myself. From this relaxed and receptive space, we gain the clarity and strength we need to create a plan for a happy and healthy life. I regularly tell my clients in therapy that if they really want to improve their self-esteem, they need to explore the parts of themselves that they can`t yet accept. After all, loving yourself more ultimately has to do with self-acceptance. And only by stopping judging ourselves can we have a more positive sense of who we are. .