Practices in Self Acceptance and Self Love
I think that everyone struggles with self-acceptance at times. Others judge us, we make mistakes that we judge ourselves for, and we worry that we are judging others too harshly. Being on a journey to be the best version of myself has been hard. I don’t want to look within and see that I can be dark or that I might be suffering because of my own actions! No one does! It’s ok though. It’s good for us to admit our faults to ourselves and work at being better, but also accepting ourselves as we are. At this moment, we really are the best that we can be and it took us a long time to get here. We rock! Go us! Whoot Whoot! Here are my favorite steps to self-acceptance and self-love
“If you ever feel bad about yourself, just remember that if you were a fictional character, people would probably love you for all your quirks and mannerisms that you probably hate.”
This is literally the truest thing I’ve ever read. We are lovable. Our friends and family know our faults, and love us more for them!
Know your priorities. I am the master of my own life!
Sometimes it’s really hard to disappoint someone with a no. The only thing harder is saying yes and being filled with regret and negative feelings. Know your priorities, including the fun things, alone time and family time. Have a clear daily, weekly and monthly plan using Google Calendars. This makes planning anything extra easy for me because I know if and when I have time. Being sure of your schedule makes it easy to not overcommit.
I always want to be my best and do the best at anything I’m working on so sometimes I can get lost in that idea. In the past, I have given so much of myself away because of this, that I sacrificed time for the things that keep me happy and healthy, like showering and yoga and being with my family. Now that I have spelled my priorities out to myself and put them first, I am so much happier.
Letting Go Of The Need To Be Liked
I have a strong moral code that will sometimes put me in a position where I have to express a negative criticism or enforce a personal boundary. This has always been difficult for me because I hate to hurt someone’s feelings, even accidentally. It’s also difficult when in past experiences people have reacted negatively by insulting me and trying to make me feel guilty. I often take these insults to heart and over think about how I could be wrong or how I can change myself to be better. Because I am nice and will only say something negative if I absolutely think it’s necessary, I expect the same from others, but sometimes people are just mean. They are using this as a defense mechanism and it really means that I’ve struck a cord and that person doesn’t want to have to look deeper in themselves.
Letting go of the need to be liked has been necessary for my happiness. It has been vital in my ability to say no and being able to give and receive criticism
The most difficult part of this for me has been understanding that when people react negatively to criticism it is not my fault. Insults and guilt trips are used as defense mechanisms and just because a person chooses to say mean things doesn’t make it true.
This also applies to simpler less confrontational issues. There are some people who just won’t like me for parts of my personality that I treasure. I can’t even say how many times I’ve been told that someone hates my bubbly happy personality. I’m just too perky for some. This one in particular really hurts because that’s just who I am so really if a person doesn’t like that about me, it means they just don’t like me and that’s ok. It has been easier to deal with this with age because now that I recognize it, I can just not waste my time.
Giving Up Social Media
It’s really hard to be yourself and forget about what everyone else thinks when you’re on Facebook where everyone is shouting their opinions about anything and everything. Social media takes away our individuality and replaces it with group think. It is overwhelmingly flooded with marketing to get us to buy this product or vote for that political idea. It is both blatantly in our faces and subtly between the lines. How can we know what our authentic thoughts and feelings are on any subject when we are so bombarded with other people’s thoughts? You can read more about What Happened When I Deleted Facebook here.
Having Interesting Hobbies
Hobbies can act as a distraction from the outside world. We can immerse ourselves in learning something new or just being good at something that makes us happy.
Gardening helps me physically work out my thoughts and feelings. For some reason, hard work just helps me think. Yoga does just the opposite, lol! When I do yoga, I can get lost in it and think only about this present moment.
I get to be creative when I’m painting. When I create a character, I am reminded what it’s like to think about life from another persons point of view. Making up a lifestyle and personality and a place for my characters to live is like practicing empathy.
When I teach photography, I get to spend time with other people who think and act differently than I do. I get to enjoy how different we all are while I help someone grow. They help me grow just by being themselves.
These hobbies make me feel good about myself!
Basically, we are all human. We all make mistakes. We all have positive traits and are good at so many things. If you were a fictional character, everyone would love you, flaws and all.
I’m good at keeping our family organized and making sure we have time for the fun parts of our lives. I love myself for that! What do you love about yourself?