‘Figuring out self-acceptance’ by Matt Kay

rsz_unknownBy popular request, another Wired In To Recovery blog by Matt Kay.

‘Self-acceptance means accepting our whole self; the talents and strengths along with the bad habits and pain. When we deny, repress or hide any aspect of ourselves it is likened to rejecting ourselves.

The very things we want most in life include being accepted, loved and acknowledged, yet we often don’t give these gifts to ourselves. We are all here to grow, learn and enjoy life, and no one is perfect. Making mistakes, experiencing pain and embarrassing ourselves are all a part of the package.

But if we walk around hiding certain aspects, disguising who we really are, we shrink and live a partial life. If we own all of our qualities and life experiences, we flourish and expand into our wholeness. We drop shame and embrace acceptance. We stop cringing and start laughing.

When we learn to accept ourselves fully, we discover that feeling our hurts releases them, acknowledging our fears and doubts reduces them, and honouring our true nature of love and joy opens us to our authentic self.

What aspects of yourself do you find the easiest to accept? What parts of your physical appearance, personality, emotions, painful experiences, pleasurable sensations, reactions, skills, talents, and so on do you easily accept even if there are apparent flaws?  

What aspects of yourself do you accept the least by denying, judging or repressing? Is this a reflection of what you deem to be acceptable and not acceptable in the eyes of others, your family or society in general?

What would it be like if you accepted all of yourself? What would it take for you to do this? What would you have to let go of? What would you have to embrace?
Bring to your awareness all the things you like about yourself; physical qualities, personality traits, the way you interact with others, nature or animals, your gifts and talents. Notice how this feels when you accept and acknowledge these.  

Bring to your awareness something you have trouble accepting in yourself. It may be something physical you’ve judged, or a pain or emotion you’ve been avoiding, or a behaviour you dislike in yourself. Say hello to it and just acknowledge its presence.

Now take a step further and imagine embracing this aspect of yourself with love and acceptance. Notice how this feels to do this. Practice accepting all of yourself. Be aware of the bigger you that operates out of love, acceptance, and amusement.

Each time you notice that you are judging yourself, switch to accepting that part of yourself. If you are repressing an emotion or thought, just say hello to it and allow it to be. Shine your true essence onto all the parts you previously rejected and notice how this lifts you up and supports you in being more free and authentic.

“Happiness can exist only in acceptance.” Denis De Rougamont’