Last week at my usual Thursday afternoon discussion group we discussed an idea that I had not thought of in awhile. This concept was a stumbling block for me for many years. Hopefully this discussion will help you as well.
When we don’t like ourselves
Last Thursday we were visited by a woman who was struggling with a few personal issues. One of the issues that she was dealing with was that she did not like herself. This triggered my memories of the years that I struggled with the same issue.
I offered my perspective about this idea. I explained that it took me many years to like myself. Early on in my awakening my guide had explained to me how important it was to like myself. He explained it over, and over, and over again. To this day I marvel at his patience.
He explained many things that were a part of liking me. First, until I accepted myself I would not be able to truly accept anyone else. Next, until I accepted myself and all the “faults” that I saw I would not be able fix those faults. Third, until I liked and accepted myself I would not find any true self confidence, only false self bluster.
The course of the discussion did not allow me to go into all of these details. What I concentrated on were the ideas of how important it was to like yourself and how long it took me to learn to do so. I mentioned that I knew I needed to learn to like myself, but that I just was not able to do so for a long time, which in itself added to the tensions.
Acceptance comes first
As my guide explained, the first step in liking yourself is to accept yourself just the way you are. Do not say – “When I have more money I will like myself.” Nor should we say “When I change this about me I will like myself.” Take it from me, those things never happen.
If we wait until we have more money to like ourselves, that day never comes. If we think a little money will cause us to like ourselves, then we think a lot of money will cause us to like ourselves even more.
If we think we will like ourselves only when we change something about ourselves first, then we will want to change something else before we like ourselves. Then we will want to change something else, and we never learn to like ourselves because we keep thinking we have to change something first.
As we heard about in an earlier post, the idea of changing things before we can pursue our spiritual growth is an illusion. Also, this is another example of looking for happiness in external situations. We are saying that changing an external situation will make us happy enough to like ourselves.
The truth is we must find a way to accept ourselves the way we are right now. We must acknowledge, all the warts, blemishes, and other “defects” that we see. We do not have to like them. We just need to accept them. By accepting them we can start to change them. When we do not accept them those warts and blemishes become the things that keep us from accepting ourselves as we are.
Start where you are
I know that this is a common theme through this post, but the idea needs to be repeated. This aspect was very hard for me to deal with and caused me years of not liking myself.
For some reason I just could not accept myself the way I was. I was very afraid of looking at and acknowledging my “faults”. Deep inside I knew that they were there. However, I just could not face the pain of admitting that they were there. Unfortunately this denial caused me great additional pain over the years.
I kept looking for the silver bullet to change things so that I would like myself. When I did not find the silver bullet I started looking for the magic wand. Gradually I realized that the only silver bullet or magic wand was my unconditional acceptance of myself.
This took years, but I finally began – I started to look at and take responsibility for my perceived defects and flaws. I am sure that there are more things that I need to accept about myself. For now I am comfortable with my progress. While learning to accept myself I learned a technique that might help you as it has helped me.
As always, these techniques involve self observation. We have discussed the idea of observation in many posts on this site. Please read a few of these posts to get a further understanding of this concept.
My technique for self acceptance is to observe when I am unhappy. As we have discussed, unhappiness is a false self behavior. When I notice that I am unhappy I ask myself why I am unhappy. My causes for unhappiness are usually from some external situation. Examples would be a dent in my car, not enough money, someone does not like me, etc.
When I find the external cause for my unhappiness I remember what happens when I point my finger. I have three fingers pointing back at me. This reminds me that my cause for unhappiness is internal, not external. This cause is usually something that I do not like or have not accepted about myself.
Sometimes I quickly find what I am not accepting. I put that on my list of things that I need to accept and start working on it as appropriate.
Sometimes I do not find it. I recognize that I am unhappy, but I do not see the internal cause. I note that as well. That unhappiness will come around again and I have to be prepared for it. Hopefully I will find the internal cause the next time. In the long run it does not matter. As long as I am truly open to finding the cause of the unhappiness I will eventually find it.
I hope that this technique will help you as it has helped me. Please submit any questions or comments that you might have. I would like to see how our readers use this technique for themselves.
That’s all for today.
Until tomorrow –
Es kava turen hai
We work towards an identical goal.
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