I want to take this time to describe self-acceptance (SA) so you may join the movement. First allow me to point out what self-acceptance is not. SA is not judging yourself or entertaining the inner critic that we all wrestle daily. SA is not looking the mirror and frowning at your body parts, curves or the lack thereof. SA is not self-loathing or hatred. Does any of this sound familiar?
Self-Acceptance is the act of achieving satisfaction and contentment with one’s self through self love. It is a subjective measure of how you perceive yourself and your path. In other words, its all about perception. Embracing your human-ness is another way to describe self-acceptance. A third way to look at SA is to adopt the lens of God, the Universe, or your creator who is not judging or condemning you. That is right folks, God and the Universe does not function in duality (good vs. evil). I hope this fact is liberating!
Now you may be wondering how to get to this place of self-acceptance. It is a journey. You will not suddenly arrive. My first recommendation is to learn to focus on the things you love and like about your life, your body, your job, your family, etc. Make a list in your journal or jot down a list and keep it somewhere visible like a bedroom wall or refrigerator.
Second, I encourage you to think of all the things you are grateful for before you go to bed or when you awake in the morning. If you prefer to write a gratitude list, by all means, please do! Late at night, instead of eating oreos because you are bored revisit your gratitude list. In doing these exercises you are rewiring your brain to find what is going well and what is positive!
Third, jump on Google and find as many positive affirmations as you can on “self-love”, “acceptance”, “positive body image” and so on. If you have Pinterest making a board for the affirmations may be the most ideal. If writing the affirmations helps to get the words tied to your soul then take that step. My personal favorite is writing on my bathroom mirror with a dry erase marker. I look in the mirror dozens of times a day therefore I will see and READ the affirmation. Tah dah!
Finally, adopt a mindfulness practice. My favorites are mindfulness meditation and mindful walking in nature. Mindfulness will help you to learn how to be present in the moment and not mentally entertain what you want to change about you. Being present helps you to be more observant and less judgmental. Do not think about the long nose you inherited from your dad. Think about the ancestors who gave you the resilient body and mind you have and the drive to grow. You slowly will learn to embrace who you are in the here and now and that’s SELF-ACCEPTANCE!