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When I look into the mirror, what do I see?
Do I speak kind words to myself or am I just nitpicking at every little flaw?
When I look at others, do I love them for who they are, or am I judging them for their own flaws? Do I realise that me judging others is just a reflection of my own insecurities and wounds?
Why am I asking these questions? Because in our society, self-acceptance and self-love aren’t quite the easiest of things. We are being bombarded on social media constantly with unrealistic levels of perfection. Unhealthy standards of what we should look like and be like. Slap on a bit of toxic positivity and “positive affirmations” and we’ve got the perfect recipe for a generation who finds it hard to be content with any single aspect of themselves.
Why have people become so mean on social media? Sure, we all have the right to our own opinions but there are certain individuals who really make the effort to dump a dark cloud over others’ heads with nasty comments on their pictures or social media accounts. The rise of keyboard warriors has made the world a very unfriendly place.
How hard is it to accept ourselves for who we really are? I mean without all the qualifications, the degrees, the money we have, the looks, the clothes, the personalities we put on in order to impress others. The truth is, it can be hard.
Most of us never feel like we’re enough. This comes from childhood conditioning, the media, pressures of living in capitalist societies where we are taught to hustle, hustle, hustle until we can’t hustle anymore.
But then I ask myself, what would it take for us to feel enough? Another degree? Another relationship? More money? Chances are, we still wouldn’t feel enough because we would still be thinking “I’m too this or I’m too that…”
Self-acceptance just doesn’t come easy…
As many of us know, Ram Dass was a spiritual giant. He helped many people on their path to spirituality. We can gain so much from his teachings and wisdom. The other day I was scrolling through Facebook and one of his quotes popped up. It really made an impression on me:
“When you go out into the woods, and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree.
The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying ‘You are too this, or I’m too this.’ That judgment mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.”
Because it’s the truth isn’t it? We don’t go to the park and pick out a random tree and say “Oh God, that tree is crooked, it looks weak, it’s definitely not good enough.” We just…look at it and accept it for what it is. So what if it’s crooked? Maybe it was hit by lightning. I mean, does it even matter?
So why are we so quick to make judgments about people we don’t even know? Why are we so quick to claim that someone is too loud or too sensitive or too fat or too quiet? Can we allow ourselves for what we really are? Can we allow others for what they really are? Can we learn to appreciate humans for just being…humans?
I don’t know…just food for thought.