What is self-acceptance? Self-acceptance is a deep awareness of your strengths and weaknesses and a feeling of satisfaction despite past behaviours, choices and areas where you feel you are lacking. It is about embracing ALL parts of self and accepting self unconditionally.
When we increase our self-acceptance, we increase our self-esteem and our well-being.
As children we accept ourselves to the same level we were accepted by our parents. Before the age of 8, children are not able to form a clear separate identity from their caregivers. This means if the child’s behaviour was deemed unacceptable or annoying, the child will naturally start to think of themselves as unacceptable and annoying.
These voices become internalised and as an adult we experience a large amount of self-criticism.
To have more self-acceptance, we need to cultivate more self-compassion. Self-compassion is an attitude of kindness towards ourselves. Self-compassion takes into account the circumstances and the history involved in any situation, it is not making excuses, but it is acknowledging that in any given situation you did the best you could with the inner resources you had.
Self-criticism says: I am a horrible person for blowing up at my brother like that.
Self-compassion says: Yes, I reacted when my brother criticised me, that reaction comes from 30 years of criticism from him. I will try better next time.
Learning to shift this inner voice is what is known as re-parenting. It is the process of consciously choosing what we would like our inner voice to sound like and using that loving voice as often as possible. Working deeply with the inner child and learning to re-parent myself changed my life.
If this is something you would like to learn more about, I have a powerful meditation called “Healing your Inner Child” available here
Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, just for this moment, try a little compassion for yourself.
Much love, Jen