True self-acceptance can be hard. I have spent months affirming to myself that I love and accept myself as I am and that all is well and then things happen and the self-acceptance starts to wane. We talk about self-esteem, though now I want to explore more self-acceptance.
It can be hard for us to see the beauty, the love and the wonder in ourselves, to see it continually and consistently. Even after years and years of meditation and self-affirmations, I can still find self-acceptance or the lack of it comes up time and time again.
We live in a society where terror and fear is blasted out on our TV’s and our newspapers. We can live and work with people who want to judge us, criticise us and put us down. It is always much easier to put another down rather than take responsibility for our own actions, behaviours and feelings.
We all have an inner critic, a voice that goes into our head. I have like many, a part of me that is self-loathing and self-hating. This inner critic can become twisted if we feed it too much and to this end it can become self-consuming. So I am asking the universe to guide me find more self-love and I wish the same for you.
This blog is one of many that will start to explore how I can learn more self-acceptance and in turn share that with you. I want to be kinder, more compassion and more loving to myself and others.
It is not about comparing myself or judging myself positively, it is really about how I relate to myself and I want to relate to myself in a happier and healthier way. We are all flawed and make mistakes. You are not alone in this, because as humans we all feel disconnected and we are not alone in feeling that something is missing or broken.
The first thing to do is to be mindful and self-aware that the inner critic has started to talk. Notice that you are being self-critical and are judging yourself.
Ask yourself “Why is that inner critic there? Do I know where it comes from? Do I know what it wants?”
I want you to know that the inner bitch or bastard is there to keep you safe.
We have two ways of keeping ourselves safe. One is the flight or fright response, where our bodies release cortisol the stress hormones to allow us to run. This was great when we lived with sabre toothed tigers. We now feel threated when our very self-concepts and beliefs are challenged. We see things as a problem and the response is that we start to attack the self. This system is not a functional one and does not work for our highest and best good.
The other way we keep ourselves safe if to nurture ourselves. To give ourselves love, touch and compassion.
So to get away from our reptilian lets run away brain to our mammal brain, it’s time for us to be kind to ourselves.
When the inner critic starts, be mindful. Ask it what is wants and needs and be proud and grateful for it feeling so strongly about keeping ourselves safe.
How does the inner critic want to keep you safe?
Know that it wants to help you in the only way it knows.
Respond to the critic with love. Put your hand on your heart and tell yourself that you love yourself, no matter what. When you do this, everything will start to shift. The earlier you can catch yourself on the criticism downward slope the easier it will be to get yourself back up again.
Your body will release the loving hormones that will lower the stress hormones. Use physical gestures, give love and compassion to yourself as you would to a child. Be gentle and tell yourself that you want to keep yourself safe, though now you want to do it in a more loving and compassionate way.
You will not get out of your inner battle and self-judgments until you start to teach yourself compassion for yourself.
And finally, know that the more self-compassion you have for yourself the more emotionally available and present you will be for others, especially the ones that you love.
Open your heart gently and lovingly to YOU first and remember to be gentle with yourself
Seeing you in Love and Happiness
If you wish to know more about the work I do please explore the following links