Acceptance goes farther than understanding and tolerating that others hold beliefs different than your own. Acceptance is part of the self. It allows you to be exactly who you are, free from judgement. This means embracing your whole person, mind, body, and spirit, flaws alike. In a society that tells you at every turn “you aren’t enough,” this task can be difficult. In order to accomplish this, it is necessary to move past beliefs that you have been holding on to for years, or even decades. Understand that regardless of the current views you hold, you deserve to honor the person that you are.
Learning to accept yourself, flaws and all starts with being kind. Every body makes mistakes. Give yourself permission to be human. When you find yourself in situations where you are passing judgment, take a step back and look at it from the view point of a third party. Then ask “how would I help a friend through this moment?” Often times people are much more lenient of loved ones than they are of themselves. Use this technique and compare the answers you provide to the question with how you were feeling about yourself.
Another topic of contention is physical appearance. Western societies are so focused on being younger, skinnier, taller, shorter, and more muscular that they loose track of what is really important. Your character. Being aesthetically perfect won’t make you happy. If you align your self-worth with the models and actors advertising products or on TV, you will forever be left wanting. Because there will always be yet another product that will supposedly lead you towards perfection. Instead of trying to be someone else’s idea of beautiful, look yourself in the mirror every day and say three things you like or love about yourself. This constant affirmation will help you to acknowledge the great qualities you already have, making room for more realistic goals.
In order to accept others, you must first begin with yourself. Oftentimes the judgment we pass onto other people is the judgment we hold on ourselves. Take a minute to think about the last time you judged someone. What was it about? How does it relate to your life? It is much easier to point your finger and criticize another person than it is to take an introspective look at yourself and fix the problem on the inside.
While there are many ways to practice acceptance, this article goes over a few elements. If you want to include more tolerance into your life, start by incorporating self-praise into your daily routine. This can be done at specific times like in the morning or at night or it may be done throughout the day. Try to become more aware of your thought patterns in order to recognize the way you speak to yourself. When you find these patterns are negative, remind yourself of some positive qualities. After a while, you may notice that you pass judgment much less often. Remember, you are beautiful and that deserves to be recognized.