After we have done a fair accounting and personal inventory and exposed and have completed the exploratory work of self-exploration we are left with – who we truly are – warts and all! Now, begins the next step – acceptance who we are. This is where the true work begins. It is the heavy lifting and mirror shattering realization that this is who and what and where I am. Some of us say we would not change a thing because it has made me who I am today. Could not change a thing so help me, right hand up to god. Right! What rationalization. Are you buying any of that?
I did. Yes, for the longest time. Then I learned to accept myself. Saying you would not change anything is not addressing the underlying truth. We have done and are things that we are not happy with. And, instead of continuing to live in denial we must look this business right in the face.
We must sort thru the things that we are disturbed by and process that. Odds are there is some magnificent work that can be done. Before we can correct any behavior, habit or trait we must accept it, look at it, flip it upside down and turn it around. Then for what we don’t like, we forgive ourselves.
I accept myself for who I am. I do. You can’t change the past – but we can accept it. If we need to we can learn from it and use it as a guide. Before we can change anything, we need to know where we are at. I accept that I never went to college. That is the past. I accept the fact that I can always go now if I want to. I accept that it may too late and that I can work with what I have and make an even better life for myself without a college degree and apply my life experience. I accept this path as well.
Accepting myself is good self-governance and self-love. Just as we accept our children who they are and give them room to find themselves we must give ourselves a break and some room to live, learn and love.
If we intentionally do wrong and hurt people we must be accepting ourselves as amoral wretches, but we can do better. How does someone go into a store and steal, or break into a home and rob it? There must be some acceptance in there. But, before we can grow in any capacity we must be honest with ourselves and not make allowances for our behavior. Cheating on an exam is not cool. But some of us can rationalize that we have too because a B+ is unacceptable, well so is cheating.
Where do we draw the line? We all know where it is. Why do some of us accept and expect so little from ourselves? Right now, accept yourselves for who you are. Ok. Got it. Now, ask yourself – DO I LOVE ME?
Do you? The way you are? If you can’t it is because you have not accepted yourself.
A saint is a sinner who knew the difference but did not give up, give in, but kept on accepting and working and loving and healing and sharing. Start now, right where you are with who you are…
JEFF S TURNBULL