To learn to love ourselves, we have to first learn to accept the full range of what makes us the human that we are. We are all unique in the sense that there is no other person like us out there. Who we are, what we have to offer, the way we would, with the essence of us-no one else possibly could.
In order to make strides towards becoming who we want to be, we must accept the experiences that has made us the person we are today. All the good, bad, fair, unfair, disappointments or moments of triumph.
Everything that we encounter, teaches us a lesson. Not in a divine sort of way, but more so that every experience teaches us something new about ourselves on what we like, dislike, abhor or wish more of, needing growth or finding pride in the growth we’ve made, where boundaries need to be set or where more grace should be offered.
How often do we look at challenges in our life and recognize it as the mirror that it is?
Our experiences are all reflections of something within us that we could learn from.
I do not mean that everything that happens should hold a silver lining. Sometimes sh*t just happens based on the choices that other people have made. Just because something happened that we could derive a message or lesson that can lead to growth, does not mean that it should have happened to us.
When there is an event that takes place, check in with yourself.
What are the thoughts that are coming up for you? Can you label 5 emotions related to the experience? Once you do, try to come up with a separate reason for the different emotions. Then…
Here is where the practice of giving yourself grace comes to play.
Allow yourself to recognize the entire experience with the thoughts and feelings associated with them and ask yourself, does it make sense to have these come up with what you’ve experienced in life up until now?
The answer is always yes.
Given what you have experienced and the beliefs you have up to THIS point in life, it makes sense that you feel the way you do.
We react the way we do to situations with our thoughts and feelings based on the life we have led up to this point.
It makes sense for someone who has been criticized regularly and made to feel inadequate at home/school/work or that their efforts do not measure up. It is understandable to feel self-conscious when interviewing for a new position even if they have been successful in the past or if they are more than qualified.
Just because they shouldn’t feel self-conscious or panicked doesn’t mean that they haven’t been conditioned to feel as such through the life they have had.
Accepting that it makes sense does not mean that you are accepting where you are now as your fate that this is where you will remain.
Even parents, friends or partners with the best of intentions can leave micro cuts on a person with what they have said and those wounds take a long time to process and heal on the subconscious level, even if consciously we know that they didn’t mean it.
The goal is to understand how and why we think the way we do; feel the way we do and react the way we do to then evaluate how we learned to become this way. Not to assign blame, but rather from a place of recognition and understanding.
Owning where we are when it is not where you want to be is very uncomfortable. We tend to become a harsh judge of our stagnation or the time it is taking get to the end point.
Know that there is not going to be an end goal in becoming. We continue to grow and evolve with a shift in perception with every new experience or goal.
Accept and enjoy each day from a moment to moment basis. Being mindful of the various moments that constitute an entire day, we are then able to see the full range in the reel of pictures.
Not all the moments will be breathtaking, just as not all the experiences will be heartbreaking.
In this focus of even the smallest of moments, we can start to give attention and energy into the steady, simple joys we find.
It is learning to love every new transformation in our becoming that makes existing beautiful.