Lets explore this. This post needs your active participation.
In order to accept myself, First I need to understand two things very clearly.
First – who is me? Myself? And
Second – what it means to accept yourself.
We can use a few exercises to explore this. First close your eyes and observe yourself. Observe your toes, ankles, calf muscles, knees, torso, your belly, your organs, your chest, your throat, your head, eyes ears.
And after some time observe your breadth.
After you are done observing. Observe a sofa, chair or anything in your vicinity.Take your time. Observe the textures. colors, patterns, weight and height etc.
After you are done with exercise then read further.
So Answer me this – Are you the sofa, or the chair or anything else that you were observing? You do not have to even think about it. You KNOW that you are not your sofa, your chair or anything else!
But you can get yourself so attached to something that if that thing or person gets hurt, you are hurt. Because you identify yourself with that thing or person. E.g. Like I am so attached to my books that I feel like they are disrespecting me if people do not treat my books well. And If someone says something bad about my sister, I feel as if its a blow to my chest! I feel physical pain. But I definitely know that I am not my sister. And I am not my books.
I think we can safely say from this exercise that the observer and the observed are two different things. Are they not?
So when you observed yourself. Who or what was observing your body? Think about it!
Some people might say that my mind was observing my body. Okay, so lets explore this .Now close your eyes and observe your thoughts.
“I feel hungry. I am bored. I am exhausted. Etc etc”. Just sit and observe your thoughts. Now. Lets ask again, who was observing these thoughts? Mind that you think create thoughts is also the one observing it?You can do this on and on and try to find where are you?
Are you your feelings?
Are you your emotions?
Are you your fears?
An Ancient Vedic principle is called “Neti Neti”. That means “Not this, Not this” or “Neither this nor that”. This principle is used to find out who you truly are. Just keep on negating all things you think you are. Until all you are left with something intangible, indestructible, unchanging.
“Atma – the Self – can be identified only by negation of the anatma – the not-Self.”
Listen to this ancient poem . It is said that when Ādi Śaṅkara was a young boy of eight and wandering near River Narmada, seeking to find his guru, he encountered the seer Govindapada who asked him, “Who are you?”. The boy answered with these stanzas, which are known as “Nirvāṇa Ṣaṭkam” or Ātma Ṣaṭkam”. You are not anything that changes. You are absolute. Ever present.
When you come to this profound conclusion then you can immediately accept everything that you truly are because at some level you already know that you are not these physical things.You are not your stupid thoughts nor your ridiculous feelings or anything else that you might have thought you are.
But in the beginning, I do not expect you to understand this even if you have this knowledge. So, how to go about accepting yourself then?
It’s a really simple process but extremely powerful. If you think you are your thoughts, then all you need to do is just observe them and say I accept you. If you think you are your body, then look in the mirror and observe everything about it and then say I accept you with all your flaws. Do the Same for every emotion or feeling or anything else that you have identified yourself with. When you accept yourself and all things that you identify yourself with. There will come a time when you are not bothered by how fat you are or how thin you are or who is saying what about you or people you love. Then you would have accepted yourself completely.
But remember its a continuous process, there are parts of me that I have still not accepted about me. So, don’t beat yourself up about anything. It’s a loving process. Whatever part of you and how much ever of yourself you wish to accept, do only that much.
Additionally do the mirror affirmations. Hold your fists up or pump your chest. Whatever works for you. Just believe in the words you say. Say to yourself loud and clear as if you are celebrating yourself. –
I am an amazing creation of the universe.
I am a light being. I come from a place of total acceptance.
I am always loved.
I am always loving.
You can come up with your own affirmations but only requirement is that you believe in it. I will tell you why its important to believe it. Even though I am 90% healed as of today but there was a time I was in in a lot of body pain to the point that I could not open water bottles, I asked my friends to keep them open for me. My room mate used to lift me up from bed everyday. That time some one told me to affirm “I am well”. I tried that and you know what I felt? I felt am lying to myself and that’s such a bad feeling because when you are in deep shit, you have only yourself and lying to yourself feels like abandoning your true self which needs healing. So, I stopped doing that and instead I affirmed all the things I believed in or could believe in. Like the above mentioned ones and these-
“It’s okay to feel like shit because I know I am amazing” ,
” It’s okay that I could not sleep last night because I know I am going to get better.”
“It’s okay that I could not get out of bed on my own but it’s amazing that I am able to walk in the afternoon”,
“I was able to cook at night”
“I am of some help to people around me through my suggestions.”These affirmations opened doors for other affirmations.
Accepting yourself just the way you are can be an emotional process. It means saying to yourself that it’s okay to be demanding, it’s okay to be selfish , it’s okay to be jealous , to be obnoxious, to be fat or thin, to be rude at times, its absolutely okay to not know where you are going in life. Its all OKAY. Life is not a race.
It’s a video game that we are all playing together. In this video game, Your characters (that you think are You) might get hurt or die in the video game but you can never ever die , no matter what happens to the character in the game . Because you are simply not your character.
You can love and accept your character as he/she is! So that your character finds a loving mate. But even in this process remember that you are not your character.
May you find a place of total acceptance .
Love to all of you.
Next post will be on How to Honor yourself – Second Step to Abundance/Self-Love.