"If you do nothing else in your whole life, accept yourself."
The quote dropped in while I was meditating last week, so I decided to experiment. What actually happens when I accept myself? I stop feeling guilty or shameful. I stop being so hard on myself. I show a little more patience when I make mistakes. I have a little more energy to give to others. I release tension in my body. I have less judgment toward myself, which leads to less judgment toward others. I feel lighter. I feel happier. I have more smiles. I think more creatively. I feel like helping or being extra kind to friends and strangers. I pick up the litter on the ground. I wipe off the milk spilled by someone on the Starbucks drink counter. I look into the eyes of the cashier and genuinely wish her a great day. I allow my heart to gush on someone's dog. I get the inspiration to write a song. I get so overwhelmed by the beauty of an oak tree that for a moment I feel like the tree and I become one. I think of an old friend and they call later that day. I easily see future abundance and lifelong happiness. I envision brilliant scenarios of upcoming music performances. I have the desire to put into my body only things that take me higher and nourish me. I remember I have so much to give the world. I feel the wonderful sensation that I LOVE being alive!
Self acceptance works! Yet how do we learn to do this when we are taught to put ourselves down, reinforced to bash our beautiful bodies, encouraged to "win" the complaining battle of whose life is worse? Here is the answer in 3 simple words:
It's ok that
Thank you Matt Kahn, author and youtube speaker, for sharing such a simple and direct teaching that profoundly changes lives, I am proof. Whatever you are feeling right now, try saying: "It's ok that I feel ______ right now". If you don't believe it, then you can say, "it's ok that I don't believe that it's ok to feel ______ right now." Continue like this with anything and everything you are feeling, or until you get to the source of the main feeling, and you will begin to feel a subtle shift towards lightness in your body.
[Some people fear that this kind of attitude will cause them to become psychopaths, or ego maniacs or worse. But I truly believe we are born with an internal knowing of "right and wrong" (except for occasional extreme psychological disorders which is a very small percentage). We know by how our bodies feel if something we did felt good, or felt not good. We can tell when we get energy in a positive way, and when we get energy in a negative way. We can feel if an interaction with another is impure or clear. Knowing this about ourselves, we can dare to dive in wholeheartedly, okaying every personal feeling and action.]
What I most love about accepting myself more and more, is that I accept others so much more easily - bad drivers stop annoying me so badly, slow check-writers at the grocery store no longer cause my heart rate to rise, for example. What if we all accepted others easily and instantly? I think simply, this world would be a better place. It would be harder for people to fight each other, scream at each other, abuse, manipulate, and kill each other. I want to be a part of a worldwide movement to love my neighbor. Will you join me?! It starts at home, with each of us, alone, accepting ourselves one feeling at a time.
May the crisp bright clean colors of Florida's Fall burst brilliance all around you today and every day as you delight in how awesome you are, right here, right now. Thank you for being YOU!
Love and turtles!