Self Acceptance

Be yourself, whoever that may be.

So, you want to find that acceptance for yourself that everyone talks about?

We hear it every day, don’t we? That “you must accept yourself before you can accept others,” or “to love yourself, you must accept yourself,” but what the fuck does that actually mean? Anyone?

I was stuck on this, for a very long time. I thought about it, and thought about it, then I thought about it some more – for good measure. All of it came to nothing. I still didn’t feel any more accepting of myself.

Then, I had this neat idea – what if I change myself, so that I’ll accept myself? Wow, why didn’t I think of this before?!

… Because it didn’t work. I mean, it really didn’t work. Don’t get me wrong, at the start, it felt incredible. I was actively taking steps to like myself more, and as a result – I was liking myself more!

Then, it hit me. Like a ton of bricks. In fact, I can still feel it now, somewhere deep inside myself. That gut-wrenching feeling of sheer disappointment, and even some shame. I’d changed myself. I’d changed myself, to like myself… more? Does anyone see the issue here?

What’s the issue?

If, like me, you didn’t catch the issue right away… I’ll spell it out. I had changed myself, to accept myself. I had physically taken steps to become someone I was not, because I wanted to accept who I was. This is backwards, no?

Acceptance is to accept who you are, not change who you are so you can accept yourself. This was my wall. I didn’t even know it was my wall until I’d tried to climb over it and ended up hitting the ground like a plane crash.

Now, if you’re reading this, you’re probably like me in some sense. Well, at least, you are like how I was. You want to find acceptance for yourself, but you’re not sure how. So, what was my solution? What was my trick to finding acceptance for myself, that I can pass on to you? Have no fear – I’m here to reveal it to you.

What’s the solution?

Well, firstly, I’ll begin off by saying – this is not a one size fits all. We all have our own issues we’re working through, and as such – I can’t account for everyone’s. I can’t even account for two people’s issues. I can only speak from my sole experience. With that said, if what I present doesn’t help you – don’t fret. Your solution will be found.

What did I do?

What I did was really, incredibly, simple. So simple that it even hurts my head when I think about it now. It took me a while to get over how much time, and energy, I’d wasted thinking about all these various ways to accept myself, when the answer was staring me right in the face!

So, allow me to, hopefully, save you some of the hassle I went through, and break it down into a few simple steps:

  • First, you stop analysing acceptance. This is the key, because your thinking about finding self-acceptance is only ever putting it further away from you.
  • Second, you bring acceptance to you. You stop trying to change yourself, and really just love who you are. Stop scolding yourself for what you do, and instead take a loving approach to yourself. You did something ‘wrong?’ That’s okay, you’ve learnt for next time. You let yourself down? You didn’t really, you learnt.
  • Third, you remind yourself of your acceptance. There will be bouts of insecurity, unhappiness, discontentment, unfulfillment, and a whole myriad of other emotions, but that is entirely okay. You are a human being, and you are allowed to fucking feel! You will learn from all that you experience! These bouts of emotion will pass, your acceptance will return, because once its found – it never really leaves.
  • Finally, you enjoy it. You realise that all the stressing you did over accepting yourself came to nothing, and instead, you’ve decided to accept yourself for who you are. Love is now pouring out of you, because you realise that through it all – you’re fucking perfect, and rightly so.
  • Extra step, just as a disclaimer type thing, you make the changes you deem necessary. Change is not a bad thing. It’s literally the one constant we have in existence. It’s about knowing the motives you’ve got behind that change. If the change is to be happier in who you are, it’s not the change you’re seeking – it’s your love. Know the difference.

I’m aware I’ve made that sound really easy, because honestly – it is that easy. We just love to overanalyse and complicate that which could be really simple, if we allow it to be.

I also understand that at first, it may not be quite that easy, but the steps are there. You can choose to follow them, or you can choose not to. It took me a pretty long time to actually come to terms with my own acceptance, so I can understand that it can take others a long time too.

Just don’t get discouraged, and don’t fall into the trap of people pleasing. When you find that full acceptance for yourself, you’ll understand why it has been a long time coming. We’ve all been there, and we all occasionally take trips back there, too. We’re human and we do make a mess of things at times, but mess is only organised chaos from a higher understanding.

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection” ― Gautama Buddha

written by Jake Mcspirit.