Self-acceptance, self-love and self-forgiveness are three virtues we must discover, learn and apply to our lives as we strive to promote self-excellence. These virtues, which promote high self-esteem and self-confidence, must be adapted unconditionally. When we know and are true to self, we can do wonders. In that state of discovery, ideas as well as problem solving techniques prosper, techniques that are essential for battling against the challenges life constantly throws at us. In the self-discovered state, energy is also plentiful, taking us to a places where we can make indelible impressions in the sand. So if you haven’t done it, it’s time to “peel back the curtain around your core self”.
Those three virtues are independent yet interconnected. Above them all, is self love. Self love is not selfish. Without it we cannot truly love others. In fact, it is not a privilege, it’s a right, one we must hold on to dearly. However, it doesn’t just happen. It is has to be created—by you! To begin, the following acts can help to set your compass in the right direction.
- Launch an exploration into self and discover who you are; your strength, weakness—your potentials;
- Remember to honor yourself and who you really are;
- Remember also, you are not the definition others append to you;
- Honor your feelings and be responsive to them;
- Honor who you are becoming since self is not static. We are constantly evolving based on phases, stages and circumstances of life.
Go on, have that unconditional love affair with yourself.
(Copyright Candid Suite, May 6, 2010)
I found a number of articles on the subject at hand. I especially liked this which I now share with you.
What are unconditional self-acceptance and self-love?
To accept and love yourself unconditionally is to:
* Place no condition on yourself as to how to behave or what to be in order to receive self-acceptance and self-love.
* Not use “if-then” clauses in establishing conditions for accepting and loving yourself.
* Take a risk to be open and vulnerable to who you are with no preset limits or expectations.
* Accept and love yourself for the fact that you exist rather than for what you do.
* Give yourself the respect and latitude to be yourself rather than to be what others want or expect you to be.
* Set the stage for yourself to feel warmth, caring and concern for yourself which results in your growing in self-esteem and self-worth.
How you feel when you accept and love yourself unconditionally
When you are the recipient of unconditional self-acceptance and self-love from yourself, you feel:
* Free to be yourself.
* You have value and worth.
* Wanted and desired for you as you are rather than for what you do.
* Listened to and understood.
* That you have yourself to offer others which in itself is worthwhile.
* Warm, cared for and nurtured.
* You are OK just the way you are.
* That there is no need to wear a mask or to act in any way just to please another.
* Free to be yourself and to open up your feelings with no fear of rejection or non-approval.
* That it is possible to take the risk to be vulnerable in order to have open and honest relationships with others.
* No fear of retribution or reprisal from others if you should make a mistake or experience a failure.
* That there are no conditions set on your relationships with yourself.
Negative consequences of the lack of unconditional self-acceptance and self-love
When you do not give yourself unconditional self-acceptance and self-love, then you:
* Feel constrained to act in ways which are inconsistent with your beliefs and feelings.
* Lack the freedom to be yourself.
* Live your life to please others rather than to please yourself.
* Are not given the freedom to experience the natural consequences of your own actions and decisions.
* Can become dependent on others to make you feel good about yourself.
* Can become very rule-bound and perfectionist in seeking to do what is “right” or “expected” in order to be accepted or loved by others.
* Are more likely to experience low self-esteem and low self-worth.
* Feel misunderstood, not approved of and defensive.
* Have poor relationship skills and experience failed relationships.
* Work harder at meeting conditions and expectations set for you by others than working at becoming self-directed, self-sufficient and self-reliant.
* Can become withdrawn and isolate yourself so as to avoid future rejection and non-approval.
* Confuse the need to follow rules and obey directions as the only way to be accepted and loved by others.
* Believe that you can never fail or make a mistake because you would never be worthy of love or acceptance.
* Can become very self-critical, self-disapproving and self-punitive.
* Tend to set unrealistic, non-achievable and overly idealistic expectations for yourself which must first be met in order to accept and love yourself.
* Become your own worst critic who is never able to say you are “good enough.”