Acceptance makes an incredible fertile soil for the seeds of change.
This is a guest post by Kate Maurice.
It would be great to begin this article saying life is a fabulous adventure full of lucky chances and joy. This is exactly what we want to hear. This is the world we would gladly accept. Nevertheless, I can’t do it as it would be a lie. The truth is, life is unpredictable and full of surprises.
In fact, there are as many painful experiences as fortunate opportunities. Sometimes, life brings such adversity that you turn into a warrior trying to maintain your position. You learn self-protection, and it is alright—until you mix it up with self-acceptance.
To live in peace with yourself and the outer world as well, the first thing you have to do is not to defend but to accept yourself. The defense could be groundless and futile, and leave you with nothing. But self-acceptance will lead you to harmony and help you to feel content no matter what. Are you excited about such developments? Then let’s learn the art of acceptance together.
1. Meet yourself
Do you love your closest people? Parents, siblings, partner? Sure, you do. Do they have flaws? Of course, they do. But somehow you love them, and these flaws don’t mean you can’t accept them unconditionally. Easy, right? So, what is wrong with you then? Why can’t you treat yourself the same way?
Don’t you deserve understanding?
Oh yes, you do. As much as any other person on Earth. And if you don’t think so, just ask your closest people what makes them love you, what’s the first thing that comes to their mind when they think about you. Do not be afraid. On the contrary, be prepared to hear how thoughtful you are, how much they like your pancakes or enjoy watching you drive. Indeed, there are so many little things we don’t notice, thinking they’re insignificant, that make other people happy. Get to know them more.
And please, don’t look for the undertones. Believe them when they say you’re great.
2. Concentrate on your strengths
All fights begin in our souls. Our nature is our first enemy. We try to become someone different; we try to overcome our negative features and celebrate our wins. Well, flaws are part of us. Burying them, we’re burying ourselves as there is no way to be partly alive.
Every single feature you have makes you unique. You became who you are thanks to your parents, education, friends, etc. You impact the worlds and it impacts you back. Accept it, and concentrate on your strengths.
No doubt, it is much easier to notice your weaknesses, criticize yourself and jump to conclusions. Choose the other way. Make an effort to see your strengths and praise yourself for them. Develop the best within yourself. And flaws… they are here to make your virtues shine brighter.
3. Acceptance is not resignation
Self-acceptance has nothing in common with giving up. No way!
You can choose the people you want to live or be friends with, and you can always leave. But it is impossible to escape from yourself. So, to reach harmony, you have to learn to deal with your imperfection but not to stop working on it.
Self-acceptance lets you move forward without feeling guilty about not knowing something before, or not doing something right. It helps you stay true to yourself while you build a better (but real!) version of yourself. It gives you wings to leave the cage of uncertainty and self-reproach you created so diligently.
“Often, it’s not about becoming a new person, but becoming the person you were meant to be, and already are, but don’t know how to be.”
– Heath L. Buckmaster
The path to self-acceptance can take years, but it doesn’t matter. It is your winning ticket, the first step you’re taking towards a happy life, and a good start is half the race.
4. Pay attention to your milieu
Despite the fact self-acceptance is the only acceptance we truly need, we want others to understand and accept us as well. And often we don’t get what we want. We can’t get it because others haven’t accepted themselves yet, too. Yep, you’re not the only one who has to learn self-acceptance. There are many of us. And since we haven’t accepted ourselves, we can’t accept others. So, we criticize ourselves and others, and make it worse.
To raise self-acceptance you have to surround yourself with content and self-sufficient people. Avoid people who make you doubt yourself, who are pessimistic or jealous. Create your small world where you will be encouraged to improve your strengths and work on your weaknesses at the pace you’re comfortable with.
Sure, sometimes we have to communicate with people who are not as positive and open-minded as we expect them to be. In this case, just don’t listen to them. You are amazing—it is the only belief you have to take.
5. Move from feeling happy to actually being happy
Self-acceptance is the tool that helps you to find inner peace, to feel safe when alone. Meanwhile, life will keep happening, and you’ll keep meeting people and situations you don’t want to. These traits of life can easily disrupt your balance. To move from feeling happy to actually being happy, you have to accept life as it is, like you did with yourself. With all its flaws, imperfections and challenges.
The easiest way to do it is to stay realistic, but positive. The logical end of inflated expectations is disappointment. So, just let life happen, and be thankful for its tests as much as for its gifts. The outer world doesn’t depend on you (unlike your inner peace). Thus, don’t demand it to meet your requirements. Instead of fighting it, try to get the most out of what it offers.
Remember, how much easier everything gets when you stop worrying and start trusting your partner fully? This is the same. Life is your partner. Trust it. Sometimes, the wisest decision is to let go and follow.
Having accepted your circumstances, you’ll always be in the empowered place to make changes. Just follow your nature and be ready to reap the harvest.
Kate Maurice is a passionate tutor who aims to make this world a better place by helping students to cope with challenges they meet. She writes for different educational platforms. You can find her articles on Essay Writing Place. Sharing her thoughts, she intends to help people believe in themselves.