Before Self-love comes Self-acceptance

acceptance

The hustle and bustle of life urges me to forget myself. I get caught up in all of it—to-do lists, cleaning, time running out, and trying to do more. In forgetting about myself, I forget about my priorities, too.

I am human. I am fallible. This happens to the best of us. I preach it, but do I practice it? Self-love, I mean. Do I really practice it?

Facebook newsfeeds, Instagram, Huffingtonpost, Cosmopolitan, your school bathroom stall–just a few of the places where you might have seen something talking to you about self-love. It’s trendy to love yourself. Like in the 90’s when Daria taught it was trendy to be self-loathing, we are taught that it is correct to love ourselves.

While there is nothing wrong with this, it’s been important for me to recognize that before self-love, comes self-acceptance. This emphasis on self-love begs the question: How can I love myself if I haven’t accepted myself exactly the way that I am? The tricky part is that I am always changing. Who I am one day, is not who I am the next. I am vessel of and for change.

“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.” Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland.

There’s this rad psychology concept called “Radical Acceptance”. Basically, it means that you accept whatever life throws at you. You embrace it. You accept yourself at any given moment in any given circumstance. Seems like a bit of a tall order for some of us, right? And maybe it is. But maybe it’s also the authentic way to begin to love yourself, too.

What if I worked on self-acceptance before self-love? What if I woke up today and said to myself: “Today, I will accept myself fully. No matter what happens today, I will embrace it. I will accept myself in all of my different moods. Today, I accept myself.”

Maybe self-acceptance is self-love.

When I accept myself, I allow myself to be exactly as I am. I allow myself room for change, for mistakes, for growth, and for all of the things that fall in between.

 

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