A Path to Self-Love and Self-Acceptance
Summary: This essay is about practicing self-love and self-acceptance to overcome
negativity and critical attitude towards oneself to experience peace and harmony.
If you have difficulty in establishing relationships or feeling good about yourself,
it may be because you do not have enough love for yourself. Most likely, you have
a strong inner voice which is critical and keeps telling what you should or should
not do, or how your life should have been if you were good enough. If you have been
listening to that voice for long, it is difficult to ignore it, or escape from it.
Loving or accepting yourself is the easiest thing that you can do, but in most cases,
people end up not doing it.
We are guided by our perceptions and judgments about ourselves and others,
which largely depend upon our knowledge and experience and the beliefs which we
acquire from others. Together they create our worldviews, values and belief systems.
Everyone has an inner voice, a product of their growing up, which is usually negative
and largely responsible for one’s negative feelings of guilt, remorse or low self-esteem.
In some, it gains hold and becomes a problem, while in others it remains in balance
and control, as they learn to think for themselves and take control of their thinking
If a person had a rough childhood, most likely he or she will have a rough adulthood.
As children, if people suffered from negativity and harshness of their parents,
peers, friends and relations, and denied love and affection, they may be still hurting
themselves with the same negativity, even if their circumstances have completely
changed, as if they are still stuck in their past.
Although, their childhood is gone and their past critics moved on, many people
still carry with them those memories, and learned behaviors to continue their legacy.
Having become their own judges and juries, they put themselves under the spotlight
and evaluate themselves, feeling guilty, unhappy and miserable. No wonder, many
people wearily walk through their lives and daily routines, carrying the burden
of their past.
Your mental health largely depends upon how you think. If you keep thinking negatively
about yourself, you will keep reinforcing those thoughts and make yourself increasingly
unhappy. Because of that negativity, you will also keep attracting similar situations
and toxic relationships, which hurt you in the past, as if you are accustomed to
certain, negative patterns in your life, and unable to move on. You may even do
it to reinforce the past belief that it is better to be alone and avoid relationships,
rather than venture out of your comfort zone and find new friends and relationships.
These patterns continue, unless people make a conscious decision to change
themselves and become different in their thinking, habits, attitude and responses.
Every person brings a lot of baggage from his or her childhood as habitual thought
patterns and conditioned behavior, which continue to exert influence and limit his
or her opportunities to grow and become a mature adult. As a result, many become
prisoners of their past, unable to let go of it or memories of their troubled childhood
If you are stuck in the past and suffer from negativity towards yourself, or
if you are unable to love yourself or accept yourself, you can make a conscious
decision to change all that and become the person you want to be. You can silence
your inner critic, by disputing your irrational beliefs, exaggerated fears and negative
self-talk, and learn to love yourself and accept yourself.
Whatever may be the circumstances, failures or achievements, and however imperfect
or miserable one may have been in the past, everyone deserves self-love, compassion
and forgiveness. At least, it is the least we can do to make peace with ourselves
and feel good about ourselves. Self-acceptance does not mean complacency or passivity.
It only means that you refuse to be undermined by your own negative, critical and
self-destructive behavior. You will continue to improve yourself, knowing well that
there is always scope for improvement and progress in life. Exploring possibilities
and opportunities with positive attitude, you become the architect of your life
and destiny. If you do it and accept yourself wholly, you will enjoy the journey
as well as the destination. You deserve good life and inner harmony, and for that
you must be in harmony with yourself.
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