“The first step in solving a problem is admitting there is one” seemingly simplistic phrase with a specific focus on finding the most immediate component in a situation, which for the most part begins with ourselves. Now, what does self-acceptance and admitting our roles in problems have to do with each other? The straight forward answer is that self-acceptance is the right approach to solve any problem within the limitations of our reality, the not so straight forward answer is identifying what exactly we are, and realising what unique challenges we introduce in problem making, once this is accepted the solution focus comes easier.
There is a point of contention about what should define self-acceptance, is it
- simply acknowledging what we are? strengths weaknesses?
- more purposely sought after?
- defending what is already there, is it simply a matter of following your heart?
- a matter of finding your spot to fit into an ever-changing society?
- balancing your needs versus your goals?
- affect who you see yourself to be? What is wrong, what is right, is there such a thing?
- Or are you only as convenient as you allow yourself to be?
- who and what determines your convenience?
Now admittedly that is a lot to consider for a simple guide on self-acceptance, but the truth is, any exploration of self will be tricky and uncomfortable, to say the least, and it involves getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. In addition, we live in an age where we are overloaded with information, and stimuli, whether that comes in the form of advertising, subscription, escapism, social media, electronic devices, and then there’s our actual lifestyles and necessities that need to be met in the very unsure global economy. Then there are age-old factors, like culture, age expectation, and family influence. How can we filter this all to make sense, when our distractions are so finely tuned for our comfort?
1.) Part of self-love, growth and care.
First off, self-acceptance falls “part of self-love/growth and care”, cultivating the best quality of character of your person within the limitations of lived experience. We are naturally limited, self-acceptance is the process of understanding these, and realising what is within our control within the spectrum of consequence.
2.) Understanding the “why”.
Secondly, you need to understand keenly the “why” aspect of your experience, why do you want clarity? Why do you want to accept yourself? Why do you want to be the best you can be? This speaks to your purpose, there are many purposes out there, which ones are worthy of you, understand yourself and the answer becomes clearer, but not giving up the search is key.
3.) Understanding “technique” in self-acceptance.
Thirdly, “technique”, there are a million and one ways to go about this but not all will be effective for you, in general, the best way to start is with
- varying degrees of mindfulness, or passive observation of patterns, emotions, and triggers, then to do this without judgement, and self-compassion, your only human, that doesn’t excuse the behaviour, nor does it mean you should settle for less or not try to uphold a higher standard, to summarise, be honest with yourself, but be kind tour self, your looking for healthy self-love, not an excuse.
In addition, with all these revelations…
- learn from them all, the good, the bad, and the ugly (yes like the song),
- talk to others for the purposes of reflection, comparison, with friends or therapy/growth-focused relationships, and lastly,
- find the humour in it all, laugh at yourself, and the situations when necessary, it helps to cope tremendously.
Self-acceptance is a very commodified word in these precariously aware times, however, this doesn’t remove the importance of its truth. It has been said there is magic in the power that words convey, how much more when you transform these words into actions that bear fruit on the quality and meaning of your lived life, you only have one. The variations of your uniqueness are many, dig deep and you may be surprised what you may find. To quote William Blake “if the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite”. So the question remains, are you ready to accept your infinity?