Self-acceptance – with the help of meditation to a happier life.
Updated: Sep 11, 2020
As my journey with meditation progresses, I am coming to the realisations that I truly believe are very important to live a happier, healthier and more relaxed life. One of the most significant steps forward was the realisation around acceptance. I think that self-acceptance is the foundation of our inner development. Only when we accept ourselves, we can be free from the feeling of guilt, shame and fear; we can have a life that serves as the best, the life that is fit for us and not built out of expectations of others. Self-acceptance is the first step to open a relationship with the world around us, it is the necessary step in accepting what happens to us and to our relatives. Certainly, in practice, it is not easy to come to the place of self-acceptance; however while you sit in meditation, while you work on your personal development, consider a few facts that will help you to come closer to it:
1. IN NATURE NOTHING AND NO ONE IS THE SAME.
In our society it is often expected that we act like others wish we would and yes, there is a need for rules and norms but there should be a room for your individual approach too, for being yourself. Let’s look at trees – the oak, of course you can tell the differences between it and let’s say the willow, but even if you look into the oaks themselves, can you ever find two identical ones? No, they will be different in height, width, they will have different branches, ones will be stronger than others depending on the climate or soil quality. There is nothing in nature that looks exactly the same as something else. It is the same with the people, we do not need to be like others, it isn’t even possible to be. Look around at your friends, your family, everyone is different. Now ask yourself the question – why than I am expecting others to act a certain way? Why when I do something for myself, am I feeling that perhaps I am failing someone? I shouldn’t! We are born with different abilities, one could be an accountant and another a nurse, imagine if they swap their roles, how would this work? Would the carer be successful in analysing numbers, would he use his abilities? And the vice versa, how would this work? The true creativeness appears when we act accordingly to our own strengths, when we are in connection with our inner selves. I am certain that we have all experienced in our lives this true satisfaction when we were doing something that we truly enjoyed, something that came to us so naturally, something that is in line with our own nature. This is where we need to be as often as possible in our life. Meditation brings us into this special connection with our own abilities, our own nature; this can never be replicated. So the next time when you compare yourself to the others, instead of regretting that you are not like them, be happy that you are different, enjoy your otherness; say to yourself – Thanks God, I am different! Embrace it! You have your own journey, your own feelings, thoughts, your own body that often you may think isn’t perfect, but the point is that it doesn’t have to be ‘perfect’; perfect is subjective.
2. NATURE HAS ITS OWN CYCLES
There is a natural cycle in everything, nature has it all perfectly designed – from the four seasons, through the day and night, up to sorrow and healing. We are subject to change from our first day, throughout our lives, until our last breath. Allow this change to be, allow the natural needs to flow through your body. There is a time for growing and blossoming, time for new leaves and time when they fall, time to act and time to rest. Often we are disappointed in ourselves for being less productive, for being lazy, but the point is that we need to realise that when we have no energy to do anything our body, our whole system is working hard to regenerate; it is taking that necessary break. The Eastern Masters will say – ‘When you are hungry, Eat. When you are tired, Sleep’. Listen to your body’s needs, accept your weak points. We are often afraid of getting older, this happens when we do not allow natural cycle to take care of our lives; we are so attached to our fresh, young appearance that we often miss the importance of the wisdom we gained throughout the years. It is all about the person we became, not how we look, there is beauty in every scar, in every wrinkle.
On the other hand, allow your feelings to change, some day you will look for company, the other you will want to stay alone, you will feel happy, and sad next day; frustrated and accepting. That’s ok, this is the part of growing, making mistakes is as necessary as making the right decisions, it is all about learning. Expecting from yourself to be the same every day is destructive; by allowing yourself to feel different you are leaving the space to fulfil your every day changing needs. Trust the natural cycle, accept the rain, the same way as you accept the sun, do not fight it.
3. YOU DON’T BELONG TO ANYONE AND YOU DON’T OWN ANYONE
Often, we are trying to fit in, we are driven by somebody’s expectations, it is very important to acknowledge this. None of us are obliged to meet other people’s standards, expectations or tasks. Every time you feel uneasy when doing something usually means that you are trying to fulfil other people’s expectations instead of following your natural rhythm. The key to self-acceptance is rejecting the belief that your duty is to be what your wife / husband, partner, parents want you to be. Your only duty is to discover your own rhythm, to live accordingly to it and allow the others to do the same. Even a little baby, young child or growing teenager is not our property, we can’t expect them to live the way we feel is right, but instead what we need is to create all possible conditions for them to discover who they are, what they desire and who they want to become. It is important to note that when you set the others free you will allow freedom into your own life; only when this realisation roots within yourself, you will experience deep self-acceptance. In this journey please do not judge people around you. Accept that no one sees the world the same way as you do. Your opinion isn’t a fact, it is only an expression of how you choose to see it. Remember that the effects of growing acceptance and acting in harmony with yourself will bring a simple joy of being into your life!