Unconditionally accepting yourself means allowing yourself to be as you are. It means allowing and embracing your inner state (your thoughts, feelings, pictures, bodily sensations…), your image of yourself and your body.
To have self-acceptance, one must first have self-awareness. Since you cannot accept what you aren’t aware of, it’s important to first become conscious of what’s happening inside you, on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level.
It is easier to become more and more conscious of yourself if you practice embracing anything that comes up into your awareness.
Indeed, one of the main reasons many people can’t feel their emotions, feel cut of from
their body or any other part of their experience is a lack of acceptance and with it an innate resistance and urge to repress every part of themselves that they feel is wrong, bad, or just doesn’t fit into their idea of who they think they are.
As long as you reject a part of you, your awareness can never grow – in fact it shrinks. Since you cannot bear to look at this particular part of yourself, you will only remain conscious of that which you can accept and allow to be as it is.
To resist yourself and your inner world, is to suffer – and since your relationship to others is very often a direct reflection of the relationship you have with yourself, it also usually means to unconsciously inflict suffering on the world.
The more of yourself you resist, the more you feel blank and empty inside, until finally you can’t feel anything anymore – this is often where most people turn to outer stimulation to keep the feeling of aliveness they’ve lost inside.
Food, drugs, alcohol, violence or constant outer stimulation (like watching TV for hours every day), become your escape, your means to avoiding your internal world and yourself. This often leads to more resistance, self-hatred and the feeling of »deadness« inside, which can then further manifest as physical problems (i.e. a disease) or as an unfavorable external event that you would usually perceive as negative.
Life presents us with many challenges, both internal and external. From financial issues, relationship problems and ill health, external events may not always go our way. The same is true for the internal – emotions and thoughts can plague us and wreak havoc in our minds.
Because of this, our inner peace is often disturbed, but few people realise that the internal or external conditions of our experience are not the cause of our distress.
The cause is much simpler – resistance.
No matter what happens in the outside world or in your internal experience, your inner peace, joy and happiness can remain, unperturbed.
By allowing and accepting your outer circumstances as they are (which does not mean not-changing or improving them if that is appropriate, it simply implies an internal acceptance of your life situation) and by doing the same with your inner world (allowing your thoughts, emotions, sensations…to pass through you, as you offer no resistance to them and let go of any identification with them), you will find that there is something deeper, something vaster, something much more important than the relative experience of the changing phenomenal world – with a continuous practice of accepting and embracing life, you will find a deep sense of peace, tranquility and joy of being that comes from beyond the mind and is completely unaffected and undisturbed by anything you may experience both in an inner and outer form.
If you are feeling hopeless, sorry for yourself, lacking control and wishing that things are somehow going to get better, while secretly feeling angry at the world, god, the universe, destiny… or anything outside you that seems to have caused your disastrous situation, then it’s very likely you are playing the role of a victim. You are blaming others for your problems and thus keeping them in place by shying away from your own responsibility of them.
If you have found yourself in such a situation now, you feel sorry for yourself, nothing seems to work and a feeling of stuckness looms over your life – don’t worry about it. Do not resist the life situation that has been presented to you – resistance will only make it worse.
There is nothing wrong with feeling the way you do, so allow yourself to feel the way you are feeling. If you feel like you are the victim, if you feel that someone else is to blame and you even have logical, rational reasons to believe that way, then you have every right to feel the way you do.
But consider this – taking responsibility for your thoughts, emotions, actions and every part of your life means you have the ability to change it and take back the steering wheel.
The majority of people on Earth rarely appreciate or make use of one of the simplest things in life – the bodily process for oxygenating and sustaining the life in every cell of their body. Though this biological process (although far more than that in reality) seems so deceptively simple, it is one of the most powerful tools for healing, relaxation, bridging the gap and connecting the mind and body, as well as coming in contact with the deep sense of peace, well-being and joy that comes with clearing your mind and abiding in the now. Thus acting as a portal into the ever present Now, a portal into the present moment.
The power of breathing can at times seem almost magical, but you need to practice it consciously to feel its power and realize its potential.
It seems clear to many that this moment offers freedom, joy and peace. Staying in the present moment is an issue that occupies the minds of many that have felt this deep peace that only truly being present and aware can give you.
Yet how to remain rooted inside it?
Simply being in the Now, observing your surroundings, taking a few deep conscious breaths or listening to the sounds around you can center you and deepen your experience of life.
If you take your time to just be, without trying to get here or there and without trying to control this or that (including the past, which we all frequently lament or try to mentally fix and change in some way – to no avail, obviously) and just stay HERE for more than a few seconds of clock-time, a deep and profound stillness and spaciousness opens up, around you and inside you.
A feeling that you are home at last.
But then a familiar occurrence comes into play – the voices in your head, the thoughts and the pictures, sounds, emotions and bodily sensations associated to them start flying around and coming up from all corners. You were free… in bliss… for a moment … but then the mind came up with all guns blazing, telling you how awful you are, how your life is horrible, how you have things to do, problems to resolve and people to hate.
To most people, the word surrender means “giving up” and in general has a very negative connotation, mostly associated with defeat and failure.
Jesus on the cross, symbolizing the deepest surrender.
But true surrender, on a spiritual level, is an extremely positive action that frees you from the shackles of mind made resistance to the situation, place or person you are experiencing. It is the failure and defeat of the limited mind and the victory of the unconditional, deepest self that you are at your essence.
Spiritual surrender fundamentally means completely embracing and thus transcending your limited sense of self and with that all resistance associated with it.
It is the complete and total acceptance of a situation, person, place or thing that is currently present either only in your mind as a thought or picture connected to an emotional response or as an actual physical event unfolding in front of you (which is of course also always associated with a mental and emotional response – the physical event holds no meaning on its own until the mind gives it meaning and resists it, which is then the main cause of suffering).