Self-acceptance is a concept that I have always struggled with. At times it’s seemed almost impossible to do. Not being able to accept who I am, and where I am at in life or how I feel, has caused me so much pain and has resulted in putting myself in situations that have been dangerous or less than I or anyone deserves.
Whenever I’ve had a psychologist, or other mental health professional say to me “would you say the things you say to yourself to your best friend?” or “would you blame your friend for that happening to her, or think she was a bad person?” I’ve always hated those questions. Of course I wouldn’t say or think that about one of my friends; or any other human.
I believe all people are worthy of love, respect, kindness, compassion and the experience of joy. So why is it so hard to believe that I also deserve these things?
I think many other people also struggle with this too. I believe that it’s something we learn over time. While growing up, however, I think many of us believe we aren’t worthy or enough. That we need to be better, be more successful, work harder, achieve more, follow a certain path or timeline, and that failure is scary and bad.
“The truth is: Belonging starts with self-acceptance. Your level of belonging in fact, can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance, because believing that you’re enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable and imperfect” – Brene Brown.
I look at the people in my life that I admire the most, they are people that aren’t afraid to show vulnerability, admit when they are struggling or need help, know and own who they are and are aware of areas in their life they want to work on and improve.
I believe I have those qualities, but I think the key difference and where self-acceptance comes in is they don’t judge themselves for where they are now, nor have any expectation that they should be different or better. They don’t beat themselves up, or have intense amounts of shame.
“Accepting yourself is about respecting yourself. It’s about honoring yourself right now. Here today, in this moment. Not just who you could become somewhere down the line” – Kris Carr.
I’m in the process of learning that I’m worthy, and deserving of self-acceptance until I’m in a place where I can love myself. I don’t need to hate or be cruel to myself either. I think this will always be a process, and something that I will always be working on. It’s a big step for me to even be willing to accept who I am right now, and I want to acknowledge that, and be proud of my growth in this area.
Sophia Bush is a woman I really admire, an idol I look up to. She has a famous quote that I believe is very relevant and something I think about often. “You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously”. Such is my goal; to allow myself to believe and live by those words.
I encourage every person reading this to allow yourself to accept who you are, where you’re at, and believe that this is exactly who you are meant to be in this present moment. Always try to speak to yourself as you would to the people you love in your life. Remember that you are worthy, you are enough, and that you are loved.
“Let go of who you think you are supposed to be and be who you are” – Brene Brown.