This post is part of the ongoing series “how to love and accept yourself as you are” – you can find all the posts here and catch up any time.
We are talking about self acceptance and besides self awareness I shared 5 keys to self acceptance that included letting go of comparisons, having realistic expectations, forgiveness (especially of self), changing the stories you tell yourself and working on positive self talk.
When I think about self acceptance I see two underlying pillars that support it, and if you do not have them in place it is near impossible to work on being at peace with yourself. They are self care and self love.
When you develop self care practices you are seeing your worthiness, your perfectly imperfect self that NEEDS things (support, connection, rest, movement, nurturing and stimulation). You do not think you should deny your needs in favour of others’. You do not make excuses to hide away. Instead you acknowledge all that you know of yourself and honour and respect what you find.
Self love might seem like it comes AFTER you find your way to acceptance- how can you love what you don’t accept?, but I feel that self love can also be a practice. It is that choice of self talk- interrupting the nasty inner critic to heap compassion on yourself. It is recognising you are whole as you are, rather than waiting for your arrival at some designated destination where you look, act, and live the idealised way you imagine and/or society tells you is necessary.
Regular self care and self love practices work towards accepting all facets of yourself, recognising the light in and around you.
To work to strengthen these pillars be aware that there are things that boost your self care and love, and others that zap at them, eroding your self on every level.
Know who and what in your life makes you smile and lifts you up, makes you feel seen and heard, like you are living authentically without judgement. Understand what YOU need and give that to yourself even if it seems outside the norm of what those around you need. You CAN reject the “shoulds” and expectations, and choose what works for you.
Be honest about what (and who) brings you down, chipping away at your core until you begin to feel hollow. If you are doing things out of alignment with who you are there can be constant feelings of discomfort, like YOU are doing something wrong, when in fact you are just in the wrong arena.
When you are in the right place and with the right people you will feel like you are growing and thriving. Your energy will be replenished, your outlook stronger and more positive. You will strengthen your self acceptance as a by product of all the positive focus on self.
More on this next week… For now, what are 3 things you need to do/ have in your life to feel good about yourself and in your skin? How often do you currently do these things (and what is ideal, yet realistic)
There is a misconception that self care means me-time or bubble baths. Self care is whatever you need to care for yourself- mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc. Some of that will be on your own and other times it is actually about the right connecting, sometimes care looks like pampering and other times it is about drinking water and getting into nature. It is about YOU and your needs.
Love and light,