This is when you can’t really accept something in you. Or a mistake. Now, why did you do that? You should have known better. (Have you noticed how we are all so much wiser in hindsight?) And you are sure you are going to do it again… Bloody hell!
Are you ready for an exercise on self-acceptance? How about that?
What you need to do is simple. Complete the sentence…
I shouldn’t be …
I shouldn’t be like …
I shouldn’t be doing …
Do that a few more times with some more sentences.
An explanation here: If you added a person (e.g. I shouldn’t be like Mike), please be more specific. What characteristics do you hate in Mike and you think that you have them too?
Now you have a good idea of those things that you struggle accepting in you.
Let’s say now that you wrote: I shouldn’t be so childish.
Next step is to explore it a bit more. What is so bad about being childish? What is the worst that can happen if you are childish? Is there something positive in being childish? What would be the opposite of being childish? (let’s say serious – it could be something different for you). What is so good about being serious? What is the dark side of seriousness?
Now, this exploration is to investigate this place that you might be stuck. If I believe I need to be serious ALL the time and I NEVER can be childish, I am rather one-sided. (Check my previous post for the inner child for this one 🙂 )
Should I accept then EVERYTHING in me?
Well, how would that be?
The paradox of change says basically that you change by standing still. This is what awareness does. By understanding where I am, I can make a different choice. But if I have no awareness of where I currently am, I am bound to go up and down, lost, without really going anywhere.
Another example here: Think of a GPS. GPS needs to find your location first. Then you can type where you want to go. If there is no satellite or no signal for finding your location, nothing further works. This is how awareness works too. By having enough awareness of your current situation, you can make different choices. And sometimes continuing to do what we always did might be one of those choices. But this is a crucial difference. This time we are aware of our choice.
Breaking it down in bits for greater self-acceptance
- Explore the current areas you don’t accept yourself
- Explore what you are losing by being what you are and not your ideal self (childish in our previous example)
- Explore what you would be gaining if you were your ideal self (more serious in our previous example)
- Invert 2 – Investigate what you might be gaining by being who you are right now
- Invert 3 – Investigate what you might lose if you become your ideal self
- Take responsibility for any choice you want to make
- Move on.
Does this make sense? I would be delighted to hear your feedback especially if you try the exploration.