Why self-acceptance is so important in your day to day life. Here is a reminder on how to feel the self-love
“I’m so stupid!; I’m so fat; I’ll never learn to do this; Everyone hates me; I’m not good enough…” Sounds familiar? You might be suffering from a lack of self-love.
While you might not put too much thought into the subtle feelings that happen during fleeting moments in your life, those little negative thoughts have a greater impact than you could imagine. If you begin practicing mindfulness and notice how often you secretly scold yourself, you may also begin to notice the impact that those thoughts have on yourself and your environment.
When you lack self-love, you project it onto your environment. You project the negativity in all aspects of your life. You may get angry fast, you may criticize people often, you may give up on projects quickly. You negatively impact people around you, people that love you. You also don’t recognize or give importance to your feelings and therefore never address them. This will only bring you into a downward spiral of anger. Lack of self-love can hurt your relationships.
You might even be drawn to toxic relationships because of this lack of self-love.
You might subconsciously be feeling completely undeserving of being treated well. You might always feel like you are not worthy.
“It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary.”
– Mandy Hale
It is important not to confuse self-acceptance with having a high ego or being overly confident. Having self-acceptance is not about hurting others to get what you want. It’s not about putting other people down if you disagree with them. It’s about self-love and as you learn to become mindful of yourself and your feelings, you also become open to caring for the feelings of others. As the saying goes:
“Be kinder to yourself. And then let your kindness flood the world.” ― Pema Chodron
The question is, how to practice self-acceptance on a daily basis? Here are a few tips that should help.
Know your boundaries
Learn to recognize your feelings. Know what makes you uncomfortable and say no when you need to say no. You must recognize and accept your personal identity space.
Everyone needs their own space, their own bubble, where they can simply just “Be” without judgment from others.
Recognize the things that bother you, or that hurt you. This doesn’t mean that you have to resort to anger towards other people or try to control other people. That is not possible to do and will only amount to fighting. A person might not have the ability to change without intervention, or at least without a lot of inner work and mindfulness. This process can take a long time.
The correct way is to
Have clear communication and express yourself
Remove yourself from the situation or leave the person who isn’t treating you well.
Accept the person as they are and love them for their differences (as long as there is no abuse involved, please be mindful of this)
I know that this might be easier said than done but boundaries are necessary for your well-being and it is not selfish for you to walk away, or say something if you are uncomfortable.
“Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You get to choose how you use it. You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept.” – Anna Taylor
Know that you can’t make everyone happy, not everyone will like you and you don’t have to like everybody either.
One of the hardest lessons a person could learn is accepting that they will not receive love or acceptance from everyone they meet when they fully express themselves. You might also catch yourself feeling guilty for speaking out about not liking how another person makes you feel. It can take a lot of introspection and mindfulness practice to accept the fact that not everyone will see eye to eye with you, but a fact it remains.
Forgive yourself for your mistakes, you are not a robot
Have you ever caught yourself remembering something and then cringing at the thought of what you did? You are not alone. Everyone has felt that thought at one point or another in their life. Everyone makes mistakes and everyone has the right to forgive themselves and learn from the experience. You need to understand that you are not an all-knowing deity. You were given the knowledge that you were given at the time of your mistake, you did what you did with what you knew at the time.
Time has passed since then and you certainly know better now.
That doesn’t mean that you do not deserve self-love. On the contrary. You have been through life and many things have happened to you. Give yourself a chance to make mistakes and learn from them. That is the only way that we grow. After all, Everyone is in the same boat as you are, everyone has a lesson to learn. Have you ever forgiven someone that has wronged you? If you did, you sure deserve that same treatment towards yourself. Having said that, it is also important to listen when someone tells you that you did something wrong.
Having done something wrong is part of the human experience.
How we react in the aftermath, really will put a lot of value on who you are as a person, and whether you choose to learn and grow, or remain stuck in a tornado of anger and repression. Words are wonderful things. You can use them to express yourself and it’s ok if you do. It’s important that you do, because you matter. Your feelings are important.
“Self-compassion is simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to others. ” – Christopher Germer
Become aware of when you self-criticize
I would like to invite you to practice mindfulness for this part. We all have a little voice in the back of our minds that tells us that we made a mistake. This little voice can help us grow, and become better and smarter. This little voice lets us know when a mistake has been made and why not to do it again. Sometimes though that little voice can become excessive and unhealthy. There is a point when we should become aware of any malignant thoughts that we have towards ourselves. Take a step back, Look at those thoughts objectively and take a conscious step to correct them.
It’s not that: “I’m so stupid.” It’s just that I don’t understand something and need to practice.
It’s not that: “I’m ugly.” It’s that I feel that I don’t like myself. What steps can I take to change that?
It’s not that: “Everyone hates me.” It’s that I feel bad about myself. Let’s explore where this comes from.
Not only should you take a step back, and be mindful of these negative thoughts, for every negative thought that you have about yourself, you must come up with 5 positive ones. Try it and see how you feel.
I would like to remind you that you are your castle. You matter and so do your thoughts. Even though you will most certainly have resistance coming from others when you express yourself or put down boundaries, they are the right thing to do for yourself. You deserve to sleep well at night, knowing that you matter. And yes, you do.
“An empty lantern provides no light. Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly.” – Unknown
Why do bad things always happen to me?
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