WARNING: Here is a truth bomb/ eye opener I’d like to share with you; There is a difference between Self Love and Self Acceptance
You see the ultimate goal is Self LOVE. Unconditional love. Self acceptance is not enough. It’s a start and I applaud anyone and hug anyone that gets to the point of self acceptance but it’s not unconditional love. Accepting yourself is not the same as loving yourself.
Consider the feelings you have for your own children, your own pets. While you may lovingly accept your friends pets over or the friends of your children over into your home. You have guidelines and expectations. You will lovingly accept them IF they aren’t too loud, don’t break anything, make a mess, mind their manners, etc. etc. If one of those “guidelines” is broken or is no longer met, your friends pet or your children’s friends may no longer be welcome in your home. You will not put up with that. However, you love your children, you love your pet unconditionally. You essentially treasure them. You will not stop loving them if they make a mess in the house, are too loud or acted like a bunch of dicks. You forgive, “go easy” and You never stop loving your “babies.”
Here’s the truth bomb: You do not give yourself the same unconditional love. You kick yourself out of your own “home” if one of the guidelines or expectations is broken or is no longer met. You focus on all of the things you didn’t get done that day, all the people you let down and then you get mean with yourself; you are too lazy, too stupid, too fat, too tall, too lazy, too skinny, too useless, too dumb, a bad parent, a bad friend, etc. etc. etc. and you are no longer welcoming to yourself.
I invite you to start with accepting yourself without any ultimatums, expectations, guidelines and rules and move to loving yourself unconditionally. Focus on everything you have accomplished in your life. You have had a very full life when you reflect upon it. Maybe you have had a rough journey and let’s face it; you will make mistakes, your body will change throughout your life, you might leave that career, that relationship might not work out but you… you have to love yourself unconditionally wherever you are in your life and never stop! Here’s a secret, no one will ever be able to love you more than you love yourself, not even your kids. So, stop being so hard on yourself, right now. You are human. Would you talk to your children the way you sometimes talk to yourself?
When you have achieved your goals, you are productive, you are in perfect health, you are in your dream career, you are at your ideal weight, your children are happy, healthy, successful and you are in a strong, amazing relationship; I’ll bet you think you’ll love yourself unconditionally then. But such a perfect life is rarely a reality and oddly enough, we turn to beating ourselves up because of that. There’s always something keeping you from that perfect life. However, if you love yourself unconditionally, see how your life starts to change. I promise, it will start to change. And it is so important that you start this NOW. It’s never too late to learn to love yourself unconditionally. Sometimes we develop a hole inside of us because we don’t live that perfect life. That hole fills up with depression, anxiety, illness, addiction and fills us up with feelings of doubt, fear, shame, guilt and remorse. Ugh. Would you want your children to go through all that?
What if we stopped putting all of those conditions, rules and expectations on ourselves and just loved ourselves the way we love our kids and our pets? Are our children perfect? No, but we love them anyway. They are human and humans are not perfect we say. So, when you think about it, what does being human really mean? Does it mean being perfect?
Cut yourself some slack and be human. Start with self acceptance and move to your ultimate goal of self love.
I love you… and me,