What Will It Take to Accept Ourselves?

8 August 2019 | Written by Xenia Ayiotis

Filed Under: Body Acceptance Change

“Accepting yourself is about respecting yourself. It’s about honouring yourself right now, here today. In this moment. Not just who you could become somewhere down the line”

– Kris Carr –

Most of us are conditioned to believe that we constantly need to be achieving, acquiring and aspiring in order to feel worthy and acceptable. We have expectations that drive us to strive and struggle. It’s never enough.  In this hustle for acceptance from others, we exhaust ourselves through the endless pursuit of perfection, trying to prove our worth through performance and ignoring our own needs in order to please others.

When I was in the deep dark depths of my dysfunctional relationship with food, eating and my body…and myself, I truly believed that the only way I could change myself was through self-loathing. I would beat myself up every time I gained weight back after my many attempts at dieting (not knowing of course that diets are always destined to fail) I would judge myself for every bite of forbidden food. This judgement extended to areas beyond food and my body. Living with this cruel voice in my head was not only exhausting but debilitating. I turned to food, shopping, wine and work to numb that voice and dull the feeling of rejection.

I believed that accepting myself meant two things, letting myself go and letting myself off the hook. I never considered that biting “the hook” and holding on was what kept me in this never-ending cycle of shame and self-rejection.

“Absence of self-acceptance has brought me the darkest pain I have ever experienced”

– Elizabeth Gilbert –

Whilst I am not against self-improvement, so often the need to improve ourselves and become better versions of ourselves comes from a belief that we are not enough and not worthy as we are.  When we approach self-improvement and change from a place of hate and rejection, it can’t create lasting change. Rejecting ourselves this way keeps us small. It keeps us in a scarcity mindset. It encourages us to hide. It fuels the belief that we are “not enough” and prevents us from sharing our gifts with the world.

I wonder how attempts at “being a better version” of ourselves would look if we approached it from a place of self-acceptance?

The constant striving for self-improvement without self-acceptance is like the never-ending task of Sisyphus.

If we didn’t embark on creating a better version of ourselves from a place of faultiness that needs to be fixed and rather from a place of “partly flawed, partly ok and partly awesome” maybe that would be a different process?

Perhaps we would pay more attention to self-care rather than self-criticism?

Maybe we would be striving less and enjoying ordinary moments more?

We might be less busy but have more meaningful moments?

“Much of spiritual life is self-acceptance, maybe all of it”

– Jack Kornfield –

Self-acceptance means accepting all the different parts of ourselves, the good, the bad, the ugly, the messy, the dark and the light.

You don’t have to wait until you have achieved anything.

It isn’t too late. You can start right now. As you are.

Give yourself permission to accept yourself unconditionally as you are – today.

My Women’s Day gift to you is a self-acceptance meditation. Enjoy the background sound of the Hadedas and my beloved dog snoring.

Here’s a great song to remind you that you are enough as you are.

May you learn to accept your abilities with kindness
May you let go of criticism and judgement
May you learn to accept yourself as you are
May you find peace with yourself

With love
Xen

Tired of overeating and feeling out of control around food? Dieting and restriction hasn’t worked for you? Ready to end the war with your body?

I can help you find peace and freedom around food, eating and your body:

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