Driving to school this morning, the brain was overactive while listening to the song of a 6-year-old… and trying to pay attention to “all-those-around”. I am not sure if I should phrase my “cycle” I am in as a tenderly difficult one, but it kind of feels like it… However, brought me to the “book” we will speak today…
I am the first to admit, I struggle with this, and in time, as practice goes, I will become better…
Self-Acceptance (forgive if this is a repeat – as guidance is talking, it feels needed)
If the essence of living consciously is respect for facts and reality, then self-acceptance is its ultimate test. When the facts we must face have to do with ourselves, living consciously can suddenly become very difficult. Here is where the challenge of self-acceptance enters.
It asks that we approach our experience with an attitude that makes the concepts of approval or disapproval irrelevant: the desire to see, to know, TO BE AWARE.
Now self-acceptance doesn’t mean to be without the desire to change, improve, or evolve. The truth is that self-acceptance is a precondition of change. If we accept the fact of what we feel and what we are, at any given moment of our existence, we can permit ourselves to be aware fully of the nature of our choices and actions, and our development is not blocked.
I love the following example – it makes many very uncomfortable – and it is the challenge!
Stand in front of a full length mirror and look at your face and body… you are already battling with the thought aren’t you?
Notice your feelings as you do so. Probably you will like some parts of what you see more than others. If you are like most people, you will find some parts difficult to look at for long, because they agitate or displease you. Perhaps you see pain in your face you do not want to confront. Perhaps there is some aspect of your body you so dislike that you can hardly bear to keep your eyes focused there… Perhaps you see signs of age and cannot bear to stay connected with the thoughts and emotions those signs evoke. The impulse is to escape – to flee from consciousness – to reject, deny, disown aspects of your “self”.
But please stay focused on that reflection of the mirror a while longer… maybe you can try to experiment with the following – say to yourself; “Whatever my defects or imperfections, I accept myself, unreservedly and completely.”
Stay focused, breathe deeply, say this repeatedly, for a minute or two – do not rush the process. Rather allow yourself to experience fully the meaning of YOUR WORDS. You may find the mind protesting -, “but I don’t like certain things about my body – so how can I accept unreservedly and completely?”
But remember – “accepting” does not necessarily mean “liking”; “accepting” does not mean we cannot imagine or wish for changes or improvements.
It means – EXPERIENCING – without denial or avoidance, that a fact is a fact; in this case, it means accepting that the face and the body in the mirror are YOUR face and body, and that they are what they are.
If you persist, if you SURRENDER to reality, if you surrender to AWARENESS (which is what accepting ultimate is) you may find that you have begun to relax a little, perhaps you feel more comfortable with yourself – and maybe just a bit more REAL.
If you have time – try and do this twice a week or so one should try this once a day, but hey life is always a rush these days.
This is the start of the relationship between self-acceptance and self-esteem: A MIND THAT HONORS SIGHT HONORS ITSELF.
There is another important discovery – you may notice a more harmonious relationships with yourself, not only will you grow in self-confidence and self-respect, but if there are aspects of your “self” that you do not like and that are within your power to change, you will be more motivated to do so, once you accepted the FACTS for what they are…
WE ARE NOT MOVED TO CHANGE THOSE THINGS WHOSE REALITY WE DENY.
This is but one concept of self-acceptance.
As I am on a journey of seeing things for what they truly are, I will share the discovery of self-esteem and acceptance with you all, maybe once or twice a week – I don’t like speaking “book” to often… I keep ME real…
Much love for all, have a blessed day