Self-acceptance? No thank you!
We are so used to look at ourself with the eyes imposed by our culture, that I believe very seldom people can really look in the mirror and be content with what they see, or just consider themselves as worthy. Maybe you even like yourself a bit, but still, I’m pretty sure that the vast majority of women, when talking about themselves, are going to say they like themselves adding: but, although, if only, once…
Even when appreciating some of our features, be them physical or not, we tend to discount them, take them for granted, or anyway minimise them in comparison with our faults.
A very unhealthy habit
This is very detrimental to our wellbeing, to our mental health, and yet is the reality for many people, and I have to include myself in the lot. Hence, since a few months, I started my path to self-acceptance (surely prompted by the decision to embrace my natural grey hair) and I learnt a few things along the way.
Looking at how these cultural biases have been affecting my daughter too, I had the opportunity to realise how most of the times the severe judgement has nothing to do with reality, and it is just in our head. And yet, with that twisted judgement, we blame ourselves because we are not thin enough, tall enough, beautiful enough, smart enough… Never enough.
…And the reason behind it
Furthermore, we are quite blind to this type of attitude, growing up in a culture that has always valued women for being humble, modest, and that teach you from a very early age not to brag about your achievements. So much that we end up concealing our biggest strength, just for the sake of modesty, to avoid appearing immodest, or too full of ourselves, or whatever.
Considering all of the above, we find ourselves in a very bad place: not proud enough of what we actually like of ourselves, and definitely the worst judges of what we do not like, which tends, unfortunately, to be a lot. Self-acceptance looks more like a mythological creature than something achievable for us.
But… is it?
I believe there are 2 main factors at play that contribute to create our twisted judgement:
1 – We misunderstand what real value is (And give value to things that actually do not have it).
2 – Nobody taught us to love ourselves.
So how can we learn to accept ourselves?
By learning to love yourself for your real value, avoiding misleading standards that do not imply any value on themselves other that for being culturally imposed on you. This means acknowledging your real value. Love your feet for how strong they are and for how well they take you around, and how they support your weight brilliantly.
Honour your body for how well it serves you, how healthy it is, how strong and adaptable it makes you. Find the REAL value, look at yourself as you would look to a loved one, and just see find the real value where it already is.
Make it a daily habit
Practice self-appreciation on a daily basis, and gratitude with it, because you have to replace the subconscious loather with a subconscious lover, and to do that you have to dedicate it time and attention and intention. Otherwise after a few self-praising moments, you risk to just go back to the usual crap!
Create your space for daily self-appreciation, set a new habit, invent different “love yourself” rituals to help you on that. (If you need inspiration, have a look at this “love yourself boost” ritual!)
Then practice self-acceptance too.
Self-acceptance means that you accept yourself just as you are, right here and right now. There is something very powerful in the now, and you have to harness it to truly accept yourself!
Love yourself as you are NOW.
Here and now is the only thing that counts
Not once you have lost some weight, or once you’ve got your hair done, or have put make up on. Not once you’ve improved yourself, or when you’ve stopped procrastinating…
Not when something else happen, now!
You have to truly be able to look at yourself, inside yourself, and embrace everything as it is, the good and the bad, the light and the shadow. The faults and the merits, all of it!
And this does not mean that you do not want to improve, but that you love yourself anyway, realising that you are already perfect in your own way. You are perfect as you are right here and now.
Because you already have the potential to change what you want to improve, to be your best self, and that makes you perfect.So even your faults contribute to your perfection, and that’s way you want to embrace them.
Is not easy, surrounded as we are by a culture that nurture our insecurity and feed on our self-doubt just to sell us stuff. But once you begin on the self-acceptance path, every further step becomes a little bit easier.
And once you are on that path, you learn to accept others as they are too. Sometimes is tough, but it’s worth the effort, and you are being repaid tenfold!
Did you find this article helpful? Let me know in the comments!
Images Credit: Pixabay