January 2, 2015

If we Resolve to do One Thing.

love yourself

Let it be to accept.

Don’t get me wrong, improvement, bettering ourselves and the world around us is absolutely encouraged and should not be overlooked, but accepting ourselves and others is under-rated and often outright ignored.

From a young age, I have been on a constant quest for self-improvement. I have self-help books galore, from money and spirituality to relationships and fitness.

You name it, I wanted to be great (or at least better) at it. I have wasted so much time and energy beating myself up for falling short of my own expectations. I have wasted embarrassing amounts of time and energy feeling mad, sad, and angry over being let down by other people or things that I have absolutely no control over.

So ridiculous, right?!

But we all do it. Imagine the energy and time we could save if we could take a deep breath and exhale the self-judgment and inhale the acceptance.

In only six short years, I have seen the same qualities manifesting in my daughter. That fact, the benefits of age, self-study and experience have led me to practice and teach the art of acceptance.

I don’t claim to be a master or guru of acceptance. It is constant work, but transformative, life-changing and maybe even life-saving.

Generally, we don’t control everything we might like to, but we do control our attitude around it and our response or reaction to it.

Please don’t become complacent, but instead, consider accepting what we cannot change for our health and longevity and sanity.

Certain things are unequivocally unacceptable such as, physical or emotional abuse, disrespect and dishonesty. I would never suggest that we lay down and accept harm against our body or character. I would also never encourage anyone to accept the disposition of another and look the other way if they are in need of support.

On a personal level, I think we all give ourselves a pretty hard time. As humans, we tend to over-identify with painful thoughts, feelings and experiences.

If we can hold these in balanced awareness with self-acceptance, it could save us from even more suffering and help release the desire for perfection.

This is most definitely easier said than done in a world where we are comparing ourselves to everyone’s highlight reel on social media.

I’m not saying we should ever give up on ourselves or stop striving toward self-improvement or working to change poor habits—the time has come to fully accept ourselves, especially the things we cannot change.

Accept that we are human beings (with so much doing). Accept that we are doing our best with what we have today. Accept that we are enough as we are.

Soften around the places we contract. Send love to those places we put pressure.

Breathe. Relax. Accept.

Self-acceptance can lower levels of anxiety, depression and stress which can lead to better sleep, positive mental attitude and general well-being.

When we can accept ourselves and others, it invites those around us to do the same, opening the channels of authentic connection.The world can certainly use more of that?

Human to human connection that includes compassion, love and vulnerability. Yes!

Our husband, friend, child, lover, pet may never change that super annoying habit that drives us crazy. But how important is that?

Can we live with throwing away empty cartons left on the counter two feet from the trash? Can we live with repeating ourselves? Is it worth wasting time and energy getting frustrated over?

Can we let go of trying to be perfect and wanting your loved ones to be too?

Let’s protect ourselves and those we love against the negative consequences of self-judgment, separation and social comparison.

Let’s commit to choosing acceptance whenever we have the opportunity or at least a little more than we do now. Every bit counts.



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Author: Kristen Schneck

Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photo: diviantart

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