What is self-acceptance? According to a quick Google search, self-acceptance is the act of accepting oneself unconditionally. Sounds straightforward enough, right?
Well, lately the term has been trailing me around like a lost dog looking for its owner. I heard people bring it up in conversations, read articles about it in magazines, and one night after dinner at my favorite Chinese restaurant, I received a fortune that read, “Our first love and last love… is self-love.”
It was evident that the universe needed me to understand what self-acceptance meant, but more importantly, the universe needed me to understand what self- acceptance meant to me.
So I did what I needed to do: poured myself a Chardonnay and did some research on the topic to get a better understanding. It came as no surprise that I found countless articles that stated the same damn thing: “self-acceptance is accepting oneself unconditionally” or “self- acceptance is the art of accepting oneself.” This was not the hard part to grasp because it’s rather evident that the acceptance of oneself plays a role in the act of self-accepting as a whole—it’s in the term, isn’t it?
No, the hard part to grasp was that every article mentioned accepting our flaws but did not mention anything about accepting the good qualities and characteristics we already possess.
I found this strange, considering that our good qualities and characteristics are the obvious things that make us feel good about ourselves, yet embracing them above our flaws is not considered a “self-acceptance practice”, according to my research.
Perhaps because it’s so self-evident to us to accept these good things about ourselves that we pay little attention to the role they play in self-acceptance as a whole. But come to think about it, when we try to accept ourselves, we’re always too fixated on accepting our flaws that we hardly take the time to look at the things that make us so very unique. We seldom indulge in the talents we have, maybe for fear of being seen as egotistical or boastful to others. But that’s the thing about self-acceptance—it’s a personal experience, and it has nothing to do with others.
I believe self-acceptance to be accepting your good qualities and letting them shine. I believe it to be a reflecting practice that makes you remember why you’re unique and that there’s no one on this planet like you.
We shouldn’t fixate so much on our flaws and shortcomings, but rather shift the focus to look at all the great features, gifts and passions we already have.
Self-acceptance to me is accepting that I am a total badass with a killer smile and a big heart that can do anything and everything she sets her mind to. I no longer fixate on the things I cannot control or change, but rather embrace and cultivate the things that make me shine.