Learning to accept ourselves is no easy task. Surely there are things we have done or that have happened to us that we are not proud of. But we are worthy of respect, love and acceptance. In the earlier blog titled “Self Acceptance” we scratched the surface of what that looks like. Now we will dig deeper into the responsibility aspect of our journey in finding peace in who we are.
By searching for validation through others praises and affirming actions we push a responsibility on them that is not theirs to own. We can not make another person love us or respect us. Their actions may suggest they do but, in their heart we can not force this kind of dedication. We can manipulate and fish for the responses we want to make us feel loved and respected but, in the end we may feel hollow. For a fleeting moment we are satisfied only to turn back to our endless quest for acceptance. This vicious cycle of ups and downs could cause us to question our relationship or our sanity. “am I an acceptance junkie? Constantly looking for the next high I get from others praises?” Or we may never realize it is even a problem because we feel good.
We know exactly how to get others to do or say things that make us feel good, so when it’s all good why should we change? Change is hard change is difficult, it’s uncomfortable to face ourselves and come to terms with some of the things we’ve said and done…so why do it? Because the things we are asking of our loved ones are impossible for them to do. We are asking them to take responsibility for our worth for our love for our emotional well being. The things we are consciously or unconsciously asking from them are overwhelming for any person to handle. One of the key factors to understand here is if we do not first take responsibility to accept ourselves we will forever be placing a large responsibility on those around us to make us feel accepted. Loving all the parts that make us squeamish is hard. If we can get to the point where we accept that we have faults, some changeable and some not, will helps us find our path to peace in who we are. Looking to others for validation is one way we tend to search for acceptance. Another way is through accomplishments in our own eyes.
Lets look at unconditional and conditional love. Unconditional love is when it doesn’t matter the circumstances you will love someone regardless of their flaws. Conditional love says “prove it! Show me you are worth it by doing or saying blank”. Conditional love seems pretty harsh, it actually is very harsh but if we are being truly honest with ourselves we can probably say we have shown conditional love to someone and/or ourselves before. Some people use works and achievements to bring about self acceptance. “If I can just lowering our expenses next month, I will prove to myself I really am a valuable spouse/co-worker. This is classic conditional love. It is not accepting ourselves as a whole it is love with conditions. I am only worthy if I could do “blank” successfully. Until we believe we belong or are worthy of love and acceptance, regardless of any circumstance, self acceptance seems unreachable.
The good news is the more you focus on yourself and take quality time to find out what your needs are, you will come around to accepting yourself. You are worth it even if you live in unbearable circumstances where you lack the support you deserve. There is something special about you, something the world would be deprived of if you allow yourself to believe you are not worthy. Self acceptance can be hard, it takes courage to fight through whatever baggage you have to get there. But when you do your life will be filled with peace.
Searching ourselves to find exactly what it is that blocks our road to self acceptance is half the battle. It could be a past wrong done to us or something we have done. It could be a relationship we have not yet let go of or we may be holding onto another’s judgment of us. Either way it is our responsibility to work it out. We can not help what others do, say or think. We can however change how we view ourselves. Understanding you are human, you have needs, dreams and desires these are good things and it is okay to chase them. You are deserving of happiness just the same as everyone else. But it starts with you.
Be gentle when loving yourself today.