How I practice self-acceptance.
Women & Design // Behind the Scenes
Acceptance is liberating and we wanted to shed some light on why these practices are important.
“By accepting yourself for who you are, you will begin to accept the world as it is too. This is who you are, but you can dream about who you are meant to be. Work towards your goals with love, kindness, and acceptance. First for yourself and then for everyone else.”
I have flaws. I’m not a perfect person. Nobody will ever be ‘perfection’. So, lets just say it and accept it, WE HAVE FLAWS or simply, what we 'perceive' as flaws. How many of you punish yourselves every single day for being imperfect? Don’t have that doughnut! Don’t wear that outfit! Why are you so stupid?! — Are you familiar with that voice? That’s your inner judge constantly yelling at you for being, well, HUMAN. I have been aware of this mean, judgemental voice in my head for the past few years and I’m still figuring out how to deal with it! It’s hard.
In my journey of understanding why we put ourselves through so much condemnation, I stumbled upon the work of Louise Lynn Hay who was an American motivational author. She believes we were perfect as babies — We knew what we wanted, we were happy and content with what we had, we also loved ourselves hence, the perfection. But, growing up changes all of that. Slowly the world starts to plant its seeds. Seeds of fear, self-loathing, jealousy, and hatred. But they’re not all bad seeds you know. It is good too but ever so often the bad takes over and destroys everything! Notice that duality here? Most of the time, that is a cause for concern too. We have this profound desire to label everything and put it in boxes. For objects, it's a perfect system. But imagine when human beings with limitless potential do it to themselves! It’s sad, isn’t it? Good - Bad. Reward - Punishment. Man - Woman. We seem to have this ‘idea’ of how everything should be. And more often than not, we’re setting ourselves up for disappointment.
Let me give you some pointers about how I made (still making, btw) my peace with it. Hope this helps!
Consciously let go of judgment
We judge. All the time. Everyone, everything and pretty much overthink every situation. I have said this before and I will say it again, everything you experience in your reality is a projection of what you are feeling internally. So judging someone for what they said or for what they did to you, is, trust me on this — an enormous waste of your time! Do not stress about the things you cannot control. This wonderful prayer comes to mind, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” Know the difference! It’s also important to understand that we can only change ourselves and our perception of the situation. What another person does is never your ‘problem’. You are 100% responsible for your reality.
The next time you are about to judge yourself or anyone else, consciously shift your thought pattern to that of forgiveness or gratitude. Forgive yourself and whoever it is that wronged you and you will be free!
Your body is intelligent — Give it some love
It is not uncommon for us women to not like ourselves. We are constantly judged on the way we look, our choices, and pretty much everything we do. This, coupled with the judgment we inflict on ourselves — is catastrophic. We are always pushing ourselves to be some idea of ‘perfect’ and when we’re not, we hate ourselves for it. But have you ever stopped to think how much your body does for you? It is an intelligent collection of cells constantly working to keep you alive and fulfill your goals. It is your home, the one thing that is going to be with you for as long as you live. Take care of yourself. Eat foods that bring you joy, participate in some activity that you like, and give your body some love.
I too struggled with loving my body for what it is. I hated it, I was unhappy and resentful because I didn’t look a certain way. But, what I realised is as much as it is freeing to not judge other people, it is immensely more liberating to not judge yourself. Because at any given point in time, you are doing the best you can! Remember this — always. And I quickly understood that even if I wanted to change (which is completely okay btw) I can only do it with love. Love changes your inside and by extension, your outside. Now, I completely accept myself for who I am and I work towards my goals (whatever they may be) with love, kindness and acceptance.
Make mindful choices and learn from setbacks
Today, I live consciously of all the choices I make and I take full responsibility for them. But there was a time when I didn’t live this way, I wish I knew better. Most of us, float by without thinking about the consequences our actions have on ourselves, on others and the planet. But we need to change that. When we are aware of the things we do and why do them, we are mindful. And mindfulness is the path of knowing, of empathizing. Primarily with yourself. So the next time you’re in a spot where you want to do something, stop to think why and fully understand it. Soak it all in! And then you can make an informed decision. One that you’re not going to judge yourself for!
“You cannot hate yourself into a version of yourself that you can love, beloved.” — @aerisbender
As for setbacks, they come in so many different ways. Look at them with compassion and learn from them. It’s that simple. Because we will always be learning, growing and trying to be better than who we were yesterday.
Live in the mindset of joy and gratitude
Even on the darkest of days, there is always some light. Gravitate towards that light, no matter what. Live in positivity and happiness. It’s not simple, but consciously, you can do it. We have so much to be thankful for! We have abundance. Try to meditate for at least 15 minutes a day. Journal — write about how you feel, your goals, dreams, and everything else. Try to find joy in simple things and focus on smaller accomplishments every day rather than end results. Give yourself time, faith, and kindness. Because what is meant to be, will be.
I hope these habits help you change your perspective and guide you to self-acceptance. It is not an easy practice.
For some of us, it may take days and for some, it may take years. But, keep going because there is a lot to gain. When we accept ourselves for who we are, we are free. And when we are free, we are happy. Our internal happiness radiates to the people around us and they become happy too. Take care of yourself. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions or just to talk. We are always happy to hear from you!
We're always open to other perspectives, opinions, and a good chat over some coffee or tea. We'd love to host a conversation with you, head on over to our Discord and get in touch!
With 🧡 Team WID.