Self acceptance is the spiritual practice of unconditional self love. When you can learn to extend pure love to yourself in every situation, you have stepped into the place of higher consciousness.
So, how do you practice unconditional self love?
It starts with being willing to show yourself compassion and understanding in all situations.
You come home from work, tired, hungry and perhaps a little frustrated by how little you accomplished today. You snap at your partner, and you refuse to play a game with the kids before dinner. When you look back at this scenario before bed, can you give yourself some compassion, cut yourself a break for being short-tempered?
Or do you put yourself down, berate yourself for having too little patience, eating chips and a soda for lunch, or being disengaged during your kids’ only time to spend with you?
Perhaps the first time, you are kind to yourself, apologize to your partner, and make up the time by playing with the kids the next day. But what about the tenth time it happens? Or the one hundredth? Are you still kind and apologetic, or are you sullen, frustrated or checked out? Have you given up that the situation will ever change?
This is when it’s important to show yourself compassion and love. When you’ve given up that anything will change if you can find a way to extend the benefit of the doubt to yourself, the problem has to shift. It’s the Universal Law of Love which says whenever you extend love and compassion towards a person, the energy has to shift. When you can say, “Of course I was short-tempered from being hungry and tired. Anyone would be,” you have shifted the energy around the problem.
Think of berating yourself as a way to lock the issue into your body. It’s like pouring super glue all over the problem. After a short time, the glue hardens and there is very little that is going to separate you from the problem. More anger or frustration adds more glue. Add rejection and resistance and your heart hardens right along with your body.
However, if you can find a little space to accept yourself and show a little understanding for the problem, you’ll soften the glue some. Add more acceptance and appreciation for who you are – and who you are not – and the problem starts to ease. Continue the love, and release judgment about what you’ve said, done or thought, and you are on your way to infinite acceptance and true appreciation.
The goal is to get out of distress and blame.
So here’s the mind game. Your brain (and my brain, too!) loves questions, and will search for answers for as long as it takes. When you ask the question, “How is this good for me?” you have put your brain to work to find a resolution. Within moments, your brain shifts you into a receptive state and starts offering possibilities. Your guard is lowered, and you can start reprogramming your brain.
To go back to your original problem, how is being tired, hungry and frustrated good for you? It helps you realize the importance of eating a better lunch. You understand the importance of decompressing before you walk in the door so you can spend time with your children. You are clear how important a good night’s sleep is compared to watching hours of mindless television.
Whatever your answers, you start to show yourself some compassion, and you’ve found some lightness in the problem.
This is the starting line. From here, you can continue the practice on your way to unconditional self love. The more you do it, the better you feel. Just keep asking “How is this good for me?”