- Money and wealth?
- A successful career, or business?
- A loving relationship?
- A beautiful house?
- Passing your exams?
- Being healthy and fit?
What is the thing that you want more than anything else in life?
I asked myself this question and two answers came to mind.
The first was to always be in good health so I can enjoy everything I experience and I can experience everything I desire.
The second was to accept myself as I am—unconditionally. To accept myself means:
- Accepting my strengths, my weaknesses, my talents, and my flaws.
- Taking both compliments and criticism gracefully.
- Being okay with my body as it is.
- Being okay with all the things I don’t like about myself—all of my imperfections.
- Letting go of guilt about the mistakes I made in the past and accepting who I am at this moment.
- Not worrying about what others think about me, because I accept myself the way I am.
- Not reacting out of feelings of insecurity or the need to defend my views and opinions.
To accept myself means I let go of the pain of the past and the fearful projections of the future. It means I am okay with who I am right now in this moment. I am okay with reality as it is—not what was or what should be.
The choice became clear
It didn’t take me long to decide on the second option. If I were granted one wish, I would, with all my heart, wish that I accept myself as I am, right now in this moment—not some version of me that looks, feels or thinks better … with all of my anxieties, and idiosyncrasies.
Accepting myself means that I accept everything about me. It’s not about falling in love with myself since love (to me) is a notion that seems clingier than acceptance.
It’s not about feeling proud or overly happy with who I am. It’s not about feeling ashamed and wanting to hide parts of my past or myself.
It’s about the point of balance in the middle—it’s a point of quiet acceptance and appreciation for things as they are.
When I accept myself, I will,
- Stop trying to fix what I perceive as flaws.
- No longer strive to prove a point or seek validation.
- Not care about what others think or say about me, since nothing will hit a nerve of insecurity or lack.
- Stop trying to look better or feel better. I will stop trying to improve and just be, and grow organically with life.
- Be at ease with my own company and not expect comfort to come from the people around me.
And when I accept myself,
I will be able to accept others as they are. I will see their strengths and weaknesses without judgment or expectations for things to be better, or different. I will accept their humanity as much as I accept mine.
I will realize that I’m not better or worse, not more or less deserving or worthy, than anyone else. We are all equal, yet unique.
And when I accept others,
I will accept the world and everything in it. I will stop seeking change and start seeing things as they are, for what they are.
I will trust life and surrender to reality.
When I accept myself, I will accept the rest of creation.
The thing is:
I don’t need a genie to grant me my wish. No one is stopping me from accepting myself other than myself. I can be the genie and grant myself the wish of acceptance.
And each one of you dear and loving readers can grant yourself the wish of self-acceptance.
Just like we can reject and loathe ourselves, we can accept and appreciate who and what we are—human beings making the best of this journey.
It’s not an easy thing but it’s possible. We can reverse the process of self-loathing that got us nothing but pain and start right now.
Start with awareness. It’s the essential step to every transformation. Notice any negative thoughts about yourself and smile. You are onto them now.
I wish you all to see the beauty within and without and to accept your flaws and shortcomings for what they are—the unique imprint of life that is you.
Look in the mirror today and dismiss whatever notions of perfection, expectations, hopes and dreams, or what should be … and smile. You are here and you are a miracle of creation.
We can shape our lives and master our destiny if we granted ourselves the wish of self-acceptance.
We wouldn’t need to fight each other, use violence, exploit one another, or hurt one another. When we accept ourselves, we accept others and we create a reality that changes our lives for the rest of time. And that is magic!
Photo courtesy of Scarleth White