Last week, we talked about accepting what was showing up in our environment and how by accepting that rather than ignoring, resisting or denying what was, we could empower our self to make choices and take actions or shift our perceptions of what is to improve our situation.
This week let’s look at how accepting our inner world can lead to significant changes in our health and happiness.
When we begin to become more aware of our thoughts, emotions and body sensations, we might not approve of what we are encountering. Most of us were raised by people who had not been raised by parents who exhibited unconditional love. We were silently trained how to behave in order to win our parents approval.
Were you told parts of you were unacceptable?
Perhaps you were told you were too sensitive. Perhaps, it wasn’t safe or acceptable to feel your emotions. Perhaps you were told that children should be quiet. Maybe you had a gift of music or art and didn’t fare well in our mentally oriented school system. What if the religion of your parents didn’t resonate with you?
How often do we judge ourselves for being who we are? How often do you compare yourself with others and think you should be different than you are? Do you have spiritual or religious expectations that you can’t meet?
Are you so happy and excited about life that others feel uncomfortable around you? Do you speak your truth and notice how others might be uncomfortable with that? Are you too loud, not loud enough? Are to too introverted or too extroverted? Too thin, too fat? Too tall, too short. Maybe your hair is curly, and you want it to be straight.
We often embody the expectations of the elders from our childhood and use them to constantly criticize our self. We often push away our uniqueness, gifts and talents, because they were deemed unacceptable by those who raised us.
Increased awareness must include acceptance and compassion
As we increase our awareness, we become more aware of the parts of our self that we dislike or have pushed away. We can become more aware of how we criticize our self. This can be uncomfortable. We might not want to look at this. Yet, but allowing this increased awareness gives us the opportunity to make different choices. By accepting ourselves, even the “bad” parts of our self, and looking at them with honesty and acceptance, we begin the process of transforming our self. We even need to accept the part of our self that judges us.
“Whatever arises, needs more love, not less”
Are we conditioned to punish our self?
Even this may seem counter intuitive to your conditioning. Most of us have been raised that if we did something “wrong” we needed to be punished. We still hold that belief thinking that we are doing something “wrong” and the only way to stop doing it is to punish ourselves.
Maybe the reverse is true. Maybe we need more love, not less. Maybe if we stopped criticizing and beating up on ourselves silently in our head, and instead met our self with compassion and acceptance, we would heal and thrive.
Maybe the parts of our self that we think are wrong or bad, just need to be loved. Maybe our unique authentic self that has been pushed into the background needs to be revisited and reclaimed as part of our journey to health and happiness.
Learning to meet our self with love and acceptance is a journey, not an event. It must be approached with compassion and patience.
- Become aware of your inner critic with compassion, understanding that part of you is really doing what it thinks is best for your highest good. Let it know that there are now more choices available.
- Consider what parts of you that you have suppressed or hidden because they were deemed unacceptable by someone from your past. Acknowledge and reconnect with those parts. (hint: they are probably parts of yourself that you judge)
May you blossom under the acceptance of yourself.