Self Acceptance is the Key to Freedom
“If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else.” - RuPaul
Everytime I hear that, it hits me straight in the heart. Every single relationship I have, changed the moment that I fell in love with myself. Some relationships ended (because they needed to), some relationships grew in a way I never expected and I became open to new relationships with people that have brought so much into my life.
None of this would have happened without the love I have for myself - and that self-love first came from Self-Acceptance.
It’s my belief that once you accept the beautiful, unique, flawed human that you are - loving yourself (and everyone else) isn’t far behind.
So - what is Self-Acceptance? How do we get it?
To me, self-acceptance is all about knowing who you are - how you perceive yourself and how other people perceive you. You might be surprised by the answers you get when you ask the important people in your life what they think about you.
Part of this is knowing what you’re really good at but also knowing where you are flawed.
Look inside yourself - what are your strengths? What do people come to you for? What unique skills have you been given?
My strengths are my drive to be better and learn more. Being honest and real with everyone I meet. One of the things I love about myself is that I celebrate everything I can - usually with a dance party!
Here is the moment when you also have to look at your weaknesses, the things you struggle with and what you are fearful of.
Some of my weaknesses are my realness (yes, it’s a strength and a weakness), my pride and stubbornness and the fact that I have a terrible singing voice.
As much as I would love to be the next American Idol, I know my voice would just scare everyone, including the dogs, away. I’ve always felt weird about the people with bad voices that try out for singing competitions. They allow themselves to stay in the dark about who they truly are and are missing out on what they were actually put her to do and all the love that will surround them when they embrace it! Or they choose to take the easy way out and not work on improving to get what they really want.
Knowing who you are and being comfortable in all the character traits you have are the first steps to self-acceptance. So here is the part that is KEY.
Accepting your flaws, your strengths, your true self, does not give you an excuse to be lazy, to stay stagnant and not work toward being the best version of yourself.
Because let’s be real - Ed Sheeran was a crap singer until he put every bit of time and effort he had to become an amazing musician. He knew he was put here for that reason and fought to get it. #Goals
For me, my honesty and realness can be both a strength and weakness. I’ve always felt like my honesty was coming from a place of love but it took several of my friends calling me out on the fact that I had no tact, for me to realize that it wasn’t coming off that way. I had to learn and work on delivering my honesty with the love I really had behind it. That meant remembering to take a moment to think before I spoke, learning different, softer words to use and just doing my best to be present every time I speak.
Take a couple minutes this week and write out your characteristics - your strengths, weaknesses - who you really are.
Be bold and ask your mom, your best friend, your spouse what they see in you. Be open to what they have to say and make a list of what everyone says and read it over.
Is this person someone you would be friends with?
Are these characteristics of someone you would want in your life?
If you read those two questions and your can’t say yes - why not?
What do you want to change so that you can change your answer to yes? You have free will and the ability to live your life however you want, to be whoever you want. So if you don’t like your list, it’s time to figure out how to change it.
If your answer is yes, then look in the mirror and put “I am” before each trait and read them aloud.
“I am funny”
“I am creative”
“I am confident”
Do this every, single day until you believe them. Don’t be shy of everything you have going for you and don’t be too proud to work on the things you know you can change.
Self-Acceptance is a special thing. It means you can walk down the street, proud of who you are, aware of where you need to go and confident in exactly where you are today. Self-Acceptance is one puzzle piece of the freedom so many people talk about having.
If you want it - I know you’ll find your way there.