“Accept everything about yourself. I mean everything. You are you, and that is the beginning and the end; no apologies, no regrets.” ~ Clark Montanas …
There are some people that might twist these words into something negative, arguing that this type of thought is selfish, unrealistic, or not conducive to positive change. But these individuals would be sorely wrong; for within Clarks words, lies the secret to beginning to live our lives to the fullest: understanding and accepting ourselves exactly as we are. Since we cannot change who we were in the past, it really serves no purpose to reject anything about ourselves. Instead, we should strive to accept that past part of our lives and ourselves and move forward. The key word here is acceptance, which is an integral step towards enacting meaningful change in our lives.
It is important to note that accepting everything about ourselves does not mean that we cannot change any aspect of ourselves with which we are dissatisfied. On the contrary, because we cannot change anything about ourselves that we have not first faced and accepted, this is the only way that we will ever realize meaningful and lasting change in our lives. An addict cannot deal with the addiction until he or she first admits and accepts that addiction as a part of who they are. In the same sense, if I desire to be more compassionate and kind towards others, I must first accept that I am not as sympathetic and understanding towards them as I would like to be; after that, I can work on it.
Our past is an important part of who we are today. And once we recognize that in every situation, we have always done the best that we knew how at the time, we can come to be more forgiving and accepting of ourselves, regardless of whether those elements of our past are a result of experiences we had, or part of our genetic makeup. This enables us to let go of the need to feel apologetic about who we are at this very moment and instead work towards becoming who we desire to be.
Life goes on no matter what; and getting down on ourselves for our shortcomings will offer no help for us in dealing with them effectively. But with steadfast and unreserved acceptance of the beautiful and complicated beings that we are, our lives will become much richer and much more fulfilling.
Accept the person that you are today.
Questions to consider:
What does acceptance mean to you? Does it necessarily include approval?
Why is it often so difficult to accept certain aspects of ourselves?
What do you see as the first step towards accepting who you are now?
For further thought:
“Self-acceptance is my refusal to be in an adversarial relationship to myself.” ~ Nathaniel Brand