We all know the word. We all understand the concept. But acceptance is one of the hardest inner tasks to accomplish. It’s an inside job that requires absolute and complete honestly and compassion. When it comes to resiliency, self-acceptance is a major piece of the puzzle that we will have to visit again and again throughout our living days.

Why is it so difficult to accept ourselves just as we are?

You are good enoughFor many of us, it’s because we have never felt accepted from childhood. We’ve felt not smart enough, not popular enough, maybe not good looking enough. We may have experienced opinions and attitudes within our families and communities that have pushed us into thinking we should be more of what we are not, leaving a feeling of “not good enough” inside of us. Many of us have gravitated to careers and partners that have made us feel accepted. We’ve secured certain positions in life that have made us feel more accepted but if they are taken away what we are left with in the end is the same old self, the same old fears and self-judgments. To truly accept who we are we must be brave enough to look at what we don’t like about ourselves first. It’s easy to accept things like, “I’m a good cook”, “I’m a good parent”, “I’m a good soldier or teacher” or “I’m good at fixing things around the house” but it’s much more difficult to accept things about ourselves like “I’m terrified of being abandoned”, “I’m a controlling person” or “I feel worthless”. Often times we are in denial of the things we want to hide from ourselves and the world and in doing so we lose our power and disconnect from ourselves. When we embrace our shadow selves we begin to shift the energy within us and how we direct it when we are looking out.

When we accept our shadow selves, our frightened selves, our jealous selves, our negativity, we begin a healing journey that will spread outwardly so we can love deeper and with less judgment. To really love yourself truly means to accept yourself, both light and shadow sides.

Remember, it is not possible to push those negative feelings and belief systems to the background to be free from them because they hold energy and energy cannot be destroyed only redirected and transformed. When we love and embrace our perceived shadow sides we redirect the energy and power they hold over us, we can transform them into powerful teachers. How?

Tracing Wounds To Their Roots

There are many techniques to support self-acceptance and healing. Here is one basic energy tracing technique that with practice can have a very profound impact. Take at least 5 minutes or trace as far back as you can for as long as you can.

  • When a reoccurring shadow thought makes itself known make a point to address it.
  • Hold it up in your mind and experience how it feels in your body.
  • Take moments to slowly inhale and exhale deeply, feel your feet on the ground and bring into your mind the earliest recollection you can remember of feeling that way. For instance, if you feel insecure or de-valued you may trace with your memory to a time and place yesterday when you felt the same and then when continuing to trace, remember a time last year and then to when you were 10yrs old where remember being the last person to be chosen to play on a team in the schoolyard.
  • When you find something tangible and it maybe something from yesterday, last year or 20 years ago, stay with it and experience it with compassion breathing in the shadow emotions and transforming them into self-love with every out breath and exhalation.
  • Keep tracing through the years until you find the root, your earliest recollection of the wound.

[lead]Most importantly, ask your highest self, your divine self for guidance and help. Your higher self knows how to heal your wounded self, always ask for help. It is there, waiting to serve you. This can be very difficult and emotionally challenging work.[/lead] You may practice accepting the same emotion over and over again and it may take month and years to truly embrace it. You may have a break through after 1 day and see yourself with love and compassion for the first time in your life. It is different every day with every person. Participate without any expectations just experience it as a practice of resiliency with the intention of seeing and accepting yourself the way you would love and accept a small child. [lead]Becoming a resilient and happy person is a warrior’s path.[/lead] It requires courage and absolute focus but instead of the focus being outward, the focus is inward. The enemy is not out there… it is in here, in the mind. When we change our perspective, how we look at ourselves and how we think we can change our world and how we feel in it.