*The following article is translated from Hebrew so may not be as grammatically correct as my more recent articles. *
Accepting myself as I am:
“One of the biggest lies we hear is that no one is perfect, the truth is that everything that exists is perfect, including human beings” – Don Miguel Ruiz
The idea Miguel presents was hard for me to accept, I remember reading one of his books for the first time about 4 years ago and this idea and his way of looking at the world inspired me so much, but I had a hard time seeing it as real.
Why is it so hard for us to accept ourselves as we are? Why is it so hard for people to love themselves and others unconditionally? The answer is surprisingly simple: we have an image in our imagination and a false idea of how we are “supposed” to be that conflicts with how we really are. The emotional pain, the lack of love and self-acceptance is created when we reject ourselves for not standing in this image of the perfect person or of who we should be, so emotional pain is created.
This is expressed in many ways: how we are “supposed” to show versus how we look, how we are supposed to function to be and succeed versus how we function, the money, achievements and abilities “that” we should have versus the money, achievements and abilities we have. In the gap between these two things there is a space where the judgmental voice in our brain judges us, the greater the space the greater the judgment and so is the emotional pain. Most people who notice this to some extent think the solution is external (and when I say most people it includes me in the past) and then try to reduce that gap by achieving external achievements, changes in appearance and building the “perfect life”. The problem is that it creates a lot of stress for them And they find that even when they achieve certain goals the judgmental voice in their brain simply raises the bar again as in the never-ending game of “perceiving” the unattainable goal of “perfection.”
There is another way to do it. What if we accept ourselves now as we are, what if the way we are now is fine. I warn you, it is not that easy because we are very used to believing the judgmental voice in our brain and have given it a lot of power and faith in our lives but it is entirely possible. All it takes is to stop believing what this voice says, it happens by questioning the voice, by us taking it seriously and giving it attention (and if we already do, why not see it as funny!). What if we go to fulfill our goals, grow and improve out of love and not out of lack and fear of self-judgment? What if from now on I love myself and accept myself no matter what happens in my life?
Take a sheet of paper and write down one thing that the judgmental voice in your mind judges you on. It can be related to my looks, my accomplishments, my confidence, my personality or all sorts of things.
Once you have written down, be aware of the fact that this is a fictitious idea that this voice presents to “how you are supposed to be”. That’s okay, do not worry if it feels real, just be with it for a moment, awareness is the first step to change something.
During your day, be aware of what the judgmental voice in the mind is saying, do not believe it honestly! Is what he says really true? How accurate is that? Does everyone see it that way? Are there no other ways to see what I can think of? What happens if I see it differently?
An excellent book and an excellent process I know to deal with is Byron Katie’s “Loving What’s” where she teaches an excellent process for raising thoughts in the mind. This is not personally the process I use but it is similar, accessible, effective and excellent, I will put a link to it in the comments below.
Enjoy and thank you for reading and giving it a chance