Self Acceptance


“The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.”

C.G. Jung

I began to think about what message I wanted to share with YOU as we move into 2019. Should I write about NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS, words we proclaim in January only to be but a passing thought by February. I could tell you the importance of good eating and how detrimental this way of life is to your health. The newest diet will be showcasing itself soon, maybe that is where this is headed. That will surely put you on an emotional roller coaster only to complicate your life. I could set you up on a fitness program. Yep, thought about them all but I decided to go another route and write about something very personal to me.


How do we honestly learn to accept who we are without shame, guilt or judgment? Though related, self-acceptance is not the same as self-esteem. Whereas self-esteem refers specifically to how valuable, or worthwhile, we see ourselves, self-acceptance gives us a more global affirmation of self. When we’re self-accepting, we’re able to embrace all facets of ourselves–not just the positive parts. As such, self-acceptance is unconditional, free of any qualifications. We are able to recognize our weaknesses, and limitations, our character flaws but in no way does any of this interfere with how we can fully accept ourselves.

If you truly want to have self-acceptance it is so important to begin to explore the deepest part of yourself that you can’t accept. Liking who are you will ultimately show you that you can have self-acceptance. You need to stop berating, beating up and judging yourself; only then can you become more positive feeling more secure in your life. Once we cease being so negative toward ourselves our self esteem will rise. From where I stand, self acceptance is the road to happiness which is crucial to our well being.

What Determines Our Self-Acceptance?

As children, we’re unable to formulate a clear, separate sense of self other than what our parents communicated to us. If your parents were not capable to communicate the message that you were ok or special in some way, barring you did not burn the house down–then you were left to view yourself. Any positive regard from our parents most likely depended on how we acted, and unfortunately, many of our childhood behaviors were not acceptable to them. If you felt you were never good enough most likely you grew up viewing yourself as inadequate. You can now see how very easy it is to regard ourselves as only conditionally acceptable. At the heart of unacceptance toward ourselves lies self-doubt and self-criticism we unwittingly create for ourselves. We begin to parent ourselves the same way we were parented.

If you were dealt with in a hurtful manner, then you will find all kinds of ways to perpetuate that unresolved pain onto yourself. YOU will begin to treat yourself like you were treated. If we were abused, shamed, abandoned or physically punished, you will follow the same path and will unconsciously feel negative approval toward who you are. We also may have been criticized from siblings, other relatives, teachers–and, especially, our peers. It is very easy to see that most of us can blame ourselves or to see ourselves as defective. That is a lot of self-doubt around us.

It took me many years to find that self-acceptance that I have towards myself with all of my flaws. I am not perfect and do not pretend to be, I just breathe and pray and know that I am perfect in the eyes of God and that is good enough for me. Moving forward to this new year I would encourage you to figure out what it will take for you to accept all of YOU, good, the bad, and the ugly!

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