Dictionary - Acceptance - a disposition to tolerate or accept people or situations, "all people should practice toleration and live together in peace"
"A disposition to allow freedom of choice and behaviour"
"Self-acceptance - an acceptance of yourself as you are, warts and all"
Kindred values - self-esteem,
Synonyms - adopt,
As a virtue, it is indispensable, without accepting oneself how can one grow beyond this point?
Is this a contradiction in terms? How can we accept ourselves for who we are and then try to improve? Because simply stated there is you the wonderful human and there is you the actor.
The human is your physical makeup, the person you see in the mirror. To a degree you will always be this person, that is how you are recognised by others, your photo. Yes you can change your hair colour or get thinner or build bigger muscles, but you will remain yourself. Otherwise known as the flesh.
The actor is how you play out your life by trying to be someone. This character is molded by environment and past experience and is forever in a tug-o-war with self. This is the "inner" man with desires and fears, with hopes and dreams, with anger and love etc. This is the person that desires change! Otherwise known as the spirit or soul.
A prominent pastor and theologian by the name of Reinhold Neibuhr, wrote a well known prayer which says "God, grant me the serenity to accept that which I cannot change, the courage to change that which I can and the wisdom to know the difference."
Why did he end his prayer with the request "and the wisdom to know the difference?"
Purely because the flesh has scripts it wants you to follow, namely, "I am hungry, give me food" or "I am cold, go stand by the fire" or "I've got a headache, get me a pill." And often, too often these urges are in conflict with law. The natural law of decency. The law that protects each one of us from the other. The law that nurtures empathy in others for our needs and vice-versa.
An example may be that you are hungry, so to satisfy this need, you rob and hurt another person to get what you want. This is where your "inner" man plays the critical role.
Accepting oneself is a tough job. Most of us are too quick to condemn ourselves because of a host of reasons, "I'm no good, I will never amount to anything, I lack proper education, I was born to suffer" and the list goes on...
We write ourselves a script, a little
stage play by which we live out our lives. For good reason we do that
because someone told us when we were young that this is what and who
we are. Shame! YOU CAN CHANGE THAT SCRIPT!! OH YES YOU CAN!
Understanding who we are is critical to how we steer the rest of our lives.
When we realise that we are more good than otherwise and that we have a lot to offer those around us and to positively affect the lives of people like ourselves, then we take on added meaning to our lives, we accept ourselves as contributing rather than just existing.
For many folk this is the elixir of life, just knowing that they are making a difference in this otherwise cruel world.
To show kindness is to receive kindness and this is a major part of learning to accept the YOU. Being kind to yourself, loving yourself, having a good feeling about you, respecting you, these are all a healthy part of accepting yourself.
If you are expecting to be perfect before you can accept yourself, this would be following an impossible script. There is not a human on this planet who can claim he achieves this status.
So where to from here?
Learn to love and accept yourself in a healthy manner!
How do you achieve such a desirable state?
How to accept yourself...
How to accept