Practicing acceptance

In the spirit of happiness and a life of authenticity, the practice of acceptance is paramount.  Navigating self-acceptance is one of the more challenging aspects of my own well-being and I suspect for others as well.  The conflict arises when we are unable to accept where we are with emotional and spiritual development while simultaneously accepting there is potential to continue to grow and be better.

Acceptance is about acknowledging that we are complex beings full of emotions, experiences, and feelings that create our sense of self.  It is about understanding those instances of insecurity, uncertainty, fear, and separation in addition to experiences of joy, love, and hopefulness.  It’s about accepting the reality of all those things without judgement or blame.  Often we think that when we react a certain way or have a certain response, we must launch into the “why?”

The moment we start adding qualifying statements about who we are or what causes us to respond a certain way…we are trying to explain, rationalize, and perhaps even justify ourselves.  When we add these types of disclaimers to our interactions and experiences, we unknowingly add a stamp of rejection to our being which creates the conflict.  We create internal chatter that who we are, what we are experiencing, and our feelings/emotions are not okay.

Accepting the reality of any given circumstance, situation, or interaction initiates a true perspective and shifts the entire experience.  It is no longer about judging, blaming, or punishing.  It is about gaining understanding and empowering ourselves with knowledge and deciding how we are either going to stay in that moment or act on a potential.

As the practice of acceptance becomes more fluid, other practices will harmonize in a beautiful symphony of love, understanding, compassion and kindness.  And when we experience these things deep within our being, the abundance will flow through our lives and help saturate all of our surroundings.

Afternoon by the river

Afternoon by the river

 

A resolution of love

New Year

New Year

The L in ‘LUCK” stands for love and the complexity of this emotion is never lost on me.  Loving someone else is a natural process yet the idea of loving self become complicated, conditional, and at times unfeasible.  I wonder why it seems so natural to experience love for others and so unnatural to experience love for our own self?

When our friends make mistakes, we can rationalize their behavior and even experience compassion for them even when their actions may have directly impacted us.  However, we are unable to find that compassion and understanding for ourselves quickly, if at all, sometimes.  We hold ourselves to standards that can be impossible.  We judge ourselves constantly and compare what we ‘should’ be versus accepting exactly what we are in this moment.

Have we ever examined a relationship in our lives and thought, “if only they were perfect, had no flaws, and made no mistakes…I could love them more?”  So why in the world do we hold ourselves to an unattainable and undesirable standard?  Not only are we able to accept flaws and imperfections in others, but we find value in them.  Those are the traits that endear us to them and make them unique and full of character. We find tolerance through our experience of love for them.

I wonder what amazing things would happen if today we all started only one resolution….to simply love and accept ourselves completely as we are?  This is not to suggest that we can’t explore ways to become more aware or gain more understanding and knowledge of ourselves and acknowledge opportunities for continued growth.  It’s simply an invitation to accept that who we are at this very moment is worthy of love and that we don’t have to wait until we are ‘better’ to fully engage in self-love.

I fully believe that loving our self leads to a better sense of well-being, happiness, and peace which transcends into more peace, love, and happiness around us.  My resolution for this year?  More love.  Absolutely.