A Path to Self-Love and Self-Acceptance
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 and perception.
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.
Suggestions for Further Reading
- Positive Affirmations
- A Lesson in the Art of Appreciation
- Stop Blaming Others
- The Best Response to Criticism
- 10 Ways to Improve Effective Communication Skills
- How to Feel Good About Yourself
- How to Practice Forgiveness
- The Problem of Loneliness
- Mental Maturity and Adult Behavior
- Love and Love Relationships
- Building Relationships
- Human Relationships Problems and Perspectives
- Fix the Unresolved Conflicts Immediately
- Knowing And Being Who You Are
- Finding Islands of Happiness In the Sea of Suffering
- Techniques to Boost Your Self-Esteem
- How to Improve Your Self-Esteem
- The True Meaning of Peace
- How To Deal With Your Emotions Effectively
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