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Accepting all of yourself (even the hard bits)

Self acceptance as a foundation for love and evolution



When I accept myself, who exactly am I accepting?

We have different labels, identities and understandings of ourselves. These change, and we define ourselves differently at different points.

Some of these we may deem acceptable and be proud of, others we may hide, hate, repress or even deny.

Acceptance is one of the defining qualities of unconditional love. Full-spectrum self-acceptance on the daily is a foundation of self love.

Do I accept the airbrushed vision I present to the world and the world presents to me? My job, my ‘achievements’, my roles, how much of a ‘good’ (insert label here) I am.

Do I accept only the future conditional version of myself, as if I were grammar? ‘I will be so much better/ happier/more complete when I… have a flat belly, a better Job, a perfect relationship’.

Is the only version of myself I can fully accept a comforting spiritual half truth; I am That, the stillness, the pure Self?


On one level this is who we are, but on another we are individual expressions of that; for a reason. unique human beings with particular traits, talents and histories. No two leaves are alike let alone two human beings.

If we aim to directly transcend this very deliberate uniqueness, aren’t we missing a key and very obvious the point of being on this apparently unique planet?

Can I accept my past? Forgive myself for the things I did when I couldn’t see what I see now.

Can I accept the aspects of my character That I previously tried to deny; ignore, repress, overcome, transcend, alchemise? Raise to the skies?

These things don’t want to be in the sky right now, they want to be in the ground. It’s clear, that’s why they’re here.


The shadow is an absence of light and it doesn’t want much, just to be seen, acknowledged. It can’t stand the pain of being ignored.

Once it’s been seen, understood, you can deliberately take it to the light and it dissolves there, it integrates.

Ignoring, repressing, being afraid these facets of the human experience will not make them go away.

Can I accept the un-acceptable labels I, or society, have put on me? Witch, bitch, whore? Selfish, imperfect, human?

Doesn’t mean I agree with them, though I can if I want. But they don’t have power over me. They’re just concepts, labels, they don’t have much more practical power and meaning than that which we give them.

Can I accept myself in my totality? Just as i am today? Can I accept my mood, my hormones, my life, the way my body and mind and heart are right now?

Acceptance is hard! We are idealists by nature. And the versions we accept will keep evolving.

Here are some things I do for for practical self acceptance:

Mirror work

Affirmations

Regular check-ins with yourself and how you’re feeling

Letting go of All dogmas; dogmas are very un-accepting and they will effectively keep you at perpetual arm’s length from ever really accepting yourself

Shadow work

Dance

nervous system regulation

Accepting all past versions of yourself: do a ritual with photos of yourself at various points in time, connect with you at that point in time, forgive and accept yourself for the things you did then.

Acceptance doesn’t negate change. Accepting doesn’t mean that you don’t want change, improvement. Of course you do, you’re human, and that’s beautiful.

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