The word acceptance can be viewed many ways but most of us tend to view it as something negative. When we accept something, it might feel like giving up or dealing with something we don’t like. But the word can have a different tone when we use it in a more compassionate way. Can we accept ourselves just the way we are? Can we love ourselves just as we appear in this moment? Can we accept others as they are with the same love and compassion? Most of the time we are so caught up in what can be or how to improve that we forget to look at our present selves and accept and love just as we are now.
Now don’t get me wrong I love to be motivated and strive to improve myself just as many of you do. But we can find that we do this to a fault. To a point where we no longer appreciate ourselves just as we are in this moment. We come up with ways to see if we can improve, change, heal and grow. Always working and striving but never really appreciating ourselves for all the work that has already been done. We can always find flaws in ourselves if we look long and hard enough. But why do we keep searching for what we perceive as needing to be fixed?
Unfortunately, if you look at our society, we receive messages everywhere that we need to do more and be more. We are shown ideals that we should strive for such as wealth, beauty, and love. We are even being shown ideals to be more compassionate and caring. We can be made to feel shame for not living up to these projected ideals. Feeling we always need to do more and try harder. But why? What do we get for all that striving and trying? Is there ever truly a finish line to it all? Will we wake up one day and say I am all that I was told I needed to be and finally feel satisfied? The answer is no. If these ideals are coming from outside of us and telling us what we need to be then there will never be a finish line. There will always be something or someone else telling us we need to be more.
So how can we free ourselves from this nonstop cycle of disappointment in ourselves? How can we start to feel good again and know that we are enough just as we are right now? Can we accept ourselves for all that we are in this moment? Do you see how acceptance is not such a bad word? Acceptance is having compassion and love for who you are now. Not needing to be anything else but what you are in this very moment. You do not need to improve or do more or achieve something to be loved. You should accept yourself for all the amazing, wonderful things you are in this very moment.
Watch your expectations for yourself. Are they achievable or are they criticisms to keep you feeling unworthy? Do you achieve something and instantly move on to another goal without celebrating what you have done? Do you find flaws even with something that was well received by others? If so, you are using the old programing to keep yourself feeling unworthy and unlovable. You are re-enforcing old beliefs that you need to keep doing more and more to feel loved. And yet there is no finish line. No point when you will truly feel worthy of love. Unless you start to accept yourself just as you are now.
When we learn that acceptance is not failing or giving up, we can redefine it as showing love and compassion for ourselves. We can start to believe that we truly are good enough just as we are now. We will not be triggered by outside influences telling us to be or do more to be loved. You will not feel shame for not living up to other standards or your own impossible expectations. And when we start to love and accept ourselves, we can also love and accept others just as they are now. We will no longer look for someone to change, be better or improve before we can give them love and acceptance.
So, think about how you can start accepting yourself more. How can you wake up and feel love right away instead of worry, anxiety, fear, or sadness? If something goes “wrong” in your life how can you accept it as just a part a life and not a reflection of your self-worth? Can you give yourself love and praise every day? Even just start by saying I am ok. Accept your divine self with love and compassion. Know that you deserve good things just as you are and there is nothing more needed to be done. Once you start to integrate acceptance into your life you will see how much easier things can be. You might start to see just how much love there actually is within yourself and in others!