Complete Self-Acceptance: Is This Possible?

Message from Myra

To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Dear Friends:

I haven’t written in a long time because I didn’t have something welling up in me to write about. Right now, though, I’m dying to tell you something very wonderful that happened recently.

For many years, my inner quest has been to attain unconditional self-acceptance. I didn’t know if this was possible, but I kept looking at the bright and distant star beckoning me. You see, like many of us, as a child, I experienced conditional love. When I did or didn’t do this or that, the security of being loved was absent. This was scary, so I resorted to pleasing the grownups in my life in order to experience love. Tragically, my sense of worth became conditional. “I have worth only if…” Oh, what a burden. I have been proving myself for a long time.

Not anymore. For the first time in my life, at age 59, I feel complete, unconditional self-acceptance. I am fine just the way I am.

I am more content than I’ve ever been, and I have moments of true joy, unrelated to external circumstances.

Ironically, I think that growth is more likely to happen as I accept myself unconditionally. And probably as a result of this, I feel increased love towards others.

How did this happen, you might ask.

Last month, I went to a retreat during which I meditated ten hours a day for ten days. One hundred hours of meditation in a little over a week! How arduous this was. The bell rang at 4 am. No! I’m sleepy! This is too much. I want to go home. But I’m glad I stayed.

It paid off. In spades.

Now, I’m not suggesting that this is what it takes to get to a place of self-acceptance. I believe it can be a lot simpler. I think it takes spending sufficient time dwelling within the shining light of the heart to dispel the fears that get in the way of seeing ourselves clearly. I have noticed a correlation between the peaceful state I describe above and the amount of time I spend dwelling within. More time, more joy and vice-versa. And it is not a stable state. I need to nurture it. My goal this year is to get up at 5 am daily to spend more time in this wonderful space.

Marshall Rosenberg, the developer of Nonviolent Communication, (and many others) teaches that the essence of human beings is love and compassion, and he suggests spending time every morning to connect with one’s essence so that one can live out the day from that space. He names some possibilities: meditation, prayer, communing with nature… I’ve taken this to heart. In addition, I take a few minutes here and there throughout the day to reconnect with my essence.

I wish we could all be together and,

“I wish I could show you, When you are lonely or in darkness, The astonishing light of your own being”. ~ Hafiz

Love to you all,

Myra

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About Institute for Empowering Communication

Co-founder of the Institute for Empowering Communication
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