Many people spend their lives going through a journey to find self love. During this time, we learn that acceptance for not only ourselves, but others can lead us in the right direction. Acknowledging acceptance and what it means to do so is the pathway to truly loving yourself.
What is Acceptance?
When it comes to self development, the word acceptance can be defined as accepting yourself and others for who they are. When you accept yourself, you are essentially allowing yourself to be your authentic being to others, no matter the insecurities you may have.
Some argue that acceptance is something that is altered in life starting from childhood. Australian Neurologist, Sigmund Freud, proposed a theory regarding three key elements of personality in relation to a person’s ego. As a child, we are often scolded in a social setting when acting on impulse. This negative response subconsciously tarnishes a child’s ego and leaves them questioning if they are worthy enough in adulthood.
What are some Examples of Acceptance in the World?
Whether we realize it or not, our mind is constantly judging ourselves and our peers. Whether it’s when we look in the mirror and do not like how a certain outfit looks or we are not fond of our friend’s new hair color, we all subconsciously judge. When we judge a person, it hinders our ability to accept them (or ourselves) for who they are as a whole.
For example, if a woman has a conversation with another woman who is not dressed in a trending style, she may be quick to judge her fashion taste. While talking, the only thought the woman had was her lack of fashion taste. Instead of the woman accepting her for who she is and listening to what she had to say in conversation, she judged her based on appearance.
How Acceptance Applies to Self Love
Have you ever noticed in public or around a certain company, you may behave in a way that may seem like another version of yourself? This “version” of your personality is something people call mirror masking. The term mirror masking can be defined as essentially hiding the articles you feel are flaws about yourself and mirroring what you feel is acceptable to others.
It could be argued that humans mask their personality to accommodate others due to the theory of our parents scolding us in social situations. Either way, acceptance comes into play when we accept that people can see us truly for who we are rather than the mask we wear. When we come to terms and accept that everyone already accepts you for you, there is no need to pretend anymore. When we do this, it unlocks a world of many possibilities and ways to love ourselves and others.
How Accepting Others Helps to Love Ourselves
When we come with terms that others accept us for who we are no matter the persona we chose to use, we build self confidence. This surge of self acceptance and confidence is something that can be formulated into something profoundly beautiful. If we were to let go of the ego we hold onto and accept others for who they truly are, we are able to help each other.
We think back to the mirror situation, many can agree that it is an act they play on a daily basis. As human beings, we are not only quick to judge ourselves, but we are just as rapid to judge others. If we simply project our ego in a manner that is turned away from negativity, we are simply accepting ourselves, our peers, and the world around us as it is. This type of realm many people reach is a level of acceptance that only promotes the desire to love ourselves more.
What Happens When We Are Unable to Accept?
In everyday life, it is difficult to tune in to certain, deeper level emotions. When people are so focused on jobs, school, or raising children, it forces us to focus on everyday tasks. This pattern of day to day life can lead to people going through negative events in their lives and simply blocking the emotions off. Different examples of these events can be:
- Loss of a Loved one
- A Break-up/divorce
- Childhood trauma
When we hold on to certain emotions linked to events in our lives, it becomes harder to confront them as time progresses. This means that you are unable to accept what has taken place as well as the full feeling you have linked to it. When carrying this “bag of unacceptance” around in life, your ability to acknowledge emotions is impeded.
How Can We Start Practicing Self Acceptance
In nature, we look at trees as a beautiful part of life. Although some are tall and some are small, we see the tree for what it does for the environment and accept it for what it is. We allow the tree to grow crooked or straight and admire it. A big life philosophy is to view others and yourself as a tree.
Through this lens of understanding and acceptance, we are able to let go of the need to control, manage, and fix people and situations. Peace and happiness can now be found where tension and impatience once existed. Everyone in this world has a quirk or something they feel is a flaw, including yourself. The key to overcoming the journey of self love is to simply embrace these qualities of ourselves and accept them.