What is Self-acceptance?

Posted by aliali @aliali, Mon, May 25 7:01pm

I have recently done some online search for these concepts but did not get any useful piece of information:
1. What is the difference between self-acceptance and self-reconciliation?
2. How to reach self-acceptance? Is it denying self-flaws, focusing on positive aspects and cultivating them, or facing my negative aspects and eliminating them?
I hope you can help me with them.

Thank you,

@aliali, I'm not sure how helpful this will be but it may just be food for thought to help you down the path. I believe you are asking a question that many people struggle with at times including myself. I had the opportunity to listen to Dr Amit Sood in person a few years back and he really had some good tips and strategies to share on how the brain works. He has a Ted Talk YouTube video that you may find interesting if not helpful – Happy Brain: How to Overcome Our Neural Predispositions to Suffering: https://youtu.be/KZIGekgoaz4

I also found an article in Psychology Today that you might find helpful if you have not already seen it.

The Path to Unconditional Self-Acceptance: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/evolution-the-self/200809/the-path-unconditional-self-acceptance

Have you read any books on self-acceptance or reconciliation?

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@aliali Self acceptance – you accept yourself as you are, both the perceptions you have of positive and negative aspects of yourself. You may choose to work on what you feel would make you a better person, however that work may be presented [for example: exercise, therapy, diet, etc. Or, you may choose to accept you as you.

In my mind, self-reconciliation indicates you have concepts you have tried to change. But they haven't changed to the degree or success you would like them changed. So, you reconcile [resign] yourself to thinking you can do no better on there things.

Most of my life, I have struggled with self-acceptance, and try to better myself when possible. But when it feels "not good enough", I campaign hard to gently remember, that "I am good enough!" Does this make sense?
Ginger

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It’s no judgement on yourself or others or life itself. It’s lovely. I’m reading Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach. I recommend it

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@aliali-Good morning. You are asking wonderful questions that are very difficult to answer. I say this because too many people search to find themselves and get caught up with labels that are given to every little stage of a problem. To me the definition of self reconciliation is very confusing because you can take it to mean two different things. It boils down to accepting others without bias. Self-acceptance is just simply accepting yourself as you are. I have had a terrible time accepting who I am and not gagging. A lot of this is due to my upbringing and a parent who concentrated more on negativity than the positivity. I felt that something was always wrong with me so my striving to be better was hindered by my lack of knowledge on how to correct my flaws. And I craved acceptance and love.

I think that age and my mom's death had a lot to do with my self-acceptance. First she wasn't around to remind me of my past or continue to criticize. And secondly, I had a chance to self evaluate because of that. Self-acceptance can take a long time because no one is perfect. We all have flaws and what I do is try to temper them. It's my nature to be impatient so I try and watch it. But I'm no longer trying to change who I am because then I would be someone else. What fun would that be? Flaws are some of what makes people different. I can think of someone in my life who is beyond naive. She's my sister and sometimes she acts so innocently. It drives me nuts. But it's what makes her, her! Ad I dearly love her.

I used to think that I had to change everything to be liked and accepted. But I have found that I am my worst enemy in self-evaluations. What counts as a good human being are moral standards. As long as you don't impose your beliefs on others than you're good! I believe that It's your personality quirks that really make you who you are. If you are unhappy with who you are then try and find out what the basis of it is. I bet it's not your personality! I bet that you are a great, fun person who is good. It's because you care. Isn't it?

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@merpreb

@aliali-Good morning. You are asking wonderful questions that are very difficult to answer. I say this because too many people search to find themselves and get caught up with labels that are given to every little stage of a problem. To me the definition of self reconciliation is very confusing because you can take it to mean two different things. It boils down to accepting others without bias. Self-acceptance is just simply accepting yourself as you are. I have had a terrible time accepting who I am and not gagging. A lot of this is due to my upbringing and a parent who concentrated more on negativity than the positivity. I felt that something was always wrong with me so my striving to be better was hindered by my lack of knowledge on how to correct my flaws. And I craved acceptance and love.

I think that age and my mom's death had a lot to do with my self-acceptance. First she wasn't around to remind me of my past or continue to criticize. And secondly, I had a chance to self evaluate because of that. Self-acceptance can take a long time because no one is perfect. We all have flaws and what I do is try to temper them. It's my nature to be impatient so I try and watch it. But I'm no longer trying to change who I am because then I would be someone else. What fun would that be? Flaws are some of what makes people different. I can think of someone in my life who is beyond naive. She's my sister and sometimes she acts so innocently. It drives me nuts. But it's what makes her, her! Ad I dearly love her.

I used to think that I had to change everything to be liked and accepted. But I have found that I am my worst enemy in self-evaluations. What counts as a good human being are moral standards. As long as you don't impose your beliefs on others than you're good! I believe that It's your personality quirks that really make you who you are. If you are unhappy with who you are then try and find out what the basis of it is. I bet it's not your personality! I bet that you are a great, fun person who is good. It's because you care. Isn't it?

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@merpreb I feel self acceptance is that you love yourself and you have people that love you too. You think positive, but accept if you think negative. No body is perfect and don't be to hard on yourself. I like what the others that sent messages to you. They did said some great things to help you.

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@lilypaws

@merpreb I feel self acceptance is that you love yourself and you have people that love you too. You think positive, but accept if you think negative. No body is perfect and don't be to hard on yourself. I like what the others that sent messages to you. They did said some great things to help you.

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@lilypaws– I think that you might be confused- I think that you might have me confused with @aliali. She is the one with asking about self-acceptance. Your ideas are great. People loving you help you to self-accept. Does this make sense?

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@byrnesie

It’s no judgement on yourself or others or life itself. It’s lovely. I’m reading Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach. I recommend it

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@byrnesie, I agree. Removing judgement is a good discipline to practice. It gets easier with practice and the rewards become increasingly obvious as one let's go of judgement. What is the single biggest tip or learning that you've gleaned so far from Tara Brach's book?

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Self-Acceptance – is to a total self appreciate yourself as-is, including the wrinkles, junk, and all.
It comes when we learn to to relish what is, recognizing that the less "pleasant" aspects are for us to see as tools for making more of the situation, life or of ourselves than first seen as possible. It is what we arrive at when we have become and are as a result of our inquisitive, learning natures as well as loving oneself- body, what one has done, heart and mind. – and loving others and the world in the same way – each "ingredient" a means for becoming and for going beyond.
Ultimately this self-acceptance grows, even blossoms when we see ourselves as a necessary, important part of the corner of the universe we are in. This relationship with the universe ( God, all God has created, called good, and seen good-when no one else would (seen in the life of Jesus) is to be treasured.

I have Traumatic Brain Injuries – but because I have had it so long, I have culled gifts from the pain, with no wishes for otherwise than what I am and have become. And the rest? it shall pass. And when I pass, that will be okay too – because I have experienced so much pain and suffering, and still come out relatively whole and still useful within the world – even at age 75.

girl-holds-world

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My take on self-acceptance is informed by a lifetime of self-loathing and depression from it. While I don't suffer as I once did, and I have made great progress on living a life that is worthy of being labeled 'acceptable' by social standards, in the past couple of years of therapy and medical aid, I still have heavy scars to bear of over 50 years of negativity about myself. I don't have a notion of faith or worship to use, as I don't subscribe to those paths, but what I can do is to try to live the most virtuous life I can within my limitations. I have to face these limits every day, and it is a struggle for me, but I devote a great deal of thought to it continuously. I need to relax myself more to be less concerned with my errors of the past or present, and that, too, takes a lot of energy.

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Prior to my learning to accept myself, I felt like I was always observing and judging everything I did. I was an actor in a play, and everyone else was in my play to support or punish my behavior or my feelings. Slowly through years of group therapy in which I received lots of feedback about how other people viewed me, I began to see myself as a whole person who was good enough most of the time, and not so good at other times.

As I learned about how others saw me, I also recognized how I thought of myself. Since I had been left by my mother many times (and by my father) as a child, I thought I must not be good enough or lovable or smart enough. I continued in therapy for nearly 20 years, building and working on becoming my whole self. I went to college and eventually earned my Master's degree. That was a huge accomplishment for me and it went a little to my head. I was striving for perfection when I finally realized that no one is perfect. That didn't last long. I was in my 60s before I recognized my shadow self, even though I knew it was there. My husband helped me see that negative side of my behavior. He accepted all of me and continued to love me.

I accept myself as I am. I have worked over my life to learn and understand others as they are, and myself with all my emotions and experiences. One of the things I learned is that when I become aware of and accepting of others, I forget myself. I mean, I know I'm not the center of the universe for anyone other than myself. I read books, "On Becoming" by Carl Rogers, and his other books. I also read "Your Erroneous Zones" by Wayne Dyer, and "Women as Winners" by Dorothy Jongeward when I was in my 20s, and have read many other so called self help books. My friend once said I had a library of "How to be real books." I lent them out to others when they asked.

I have accepted and reconciled that I am fully human, with all that entails. I have lived, at 71, a very full, satisfying life.

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@gailb

Prior to my learning to accept myself, I felt like I was always observing and judging everything I did. I was an actor in a play, and everyone else was in my play to support or punish my behavior or my feelings. Slowly through years of group therapy in which I received lots of feedback about how other people viewed me, I began to see myself as a whole person who was good enough most of the time, and not so good at other times.

As I learned about how others saw me, I also recognized how I thought of myself. Since I had been left by my mother many times (and by my father) as a child, I thought I must not be good enough or lovable or smart enough. I continued in therapy for nearly 20 years, building and working on becoming my whole self. I went to college and eventually earned my Master's degree. That was a huge accomplishment for me and it went a little to my head. I was striving for perfection when I finally realized that no one is perfect. That didn't last long. I was in my 60s before I recognized my shadow self, even though I knew it was there. My husband helped me see that negative side of my behavior. He accepted all of me and continued to love me.

I accept myself as I am. I have worked over my life to learn and understand others as they are, and myself with all my emotions and experiences. One of the things I learned is that when I become aware of and accepting of others, I forget myself. I mean, I know I'm not the center of the universe for anyone other than myself. I read books, "On Becoming" by Carl Rogers, and his other books. I also read "Your Erroneous Zones" by Wayne Dyer, and "Women as Winners" by Dorothy Jongeward when I was in my 20s, and have read many other so called self help books. My friend once said I had a library of "How to be real books." I lent them out to others when they asked.

I have accepted and reconciled that I am fully human, with all that entails. I have lived, at 71, a very full, satisfying life.

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@gailb– Growing up is so difficult! It's so unfair that we have to go through this, lol. I have spent years in therapy and kept thinking, if what she said is true why don't I think that other people see me as she does?
Most of us seem, at a certain time, as we age, to just accept what is and go from there!

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@caroleeuits

Self-Acceptance – is to a total self appreciate yourself as-is, including the wrinkles, junk, and all.
It comes when we learn to to relish what is, recognizing that the less "pleasant" aspects are for us to see as tools for making more of the situation, life or of ourselves than first seen as possible. It is what we arrive at when we have become and are as a result of our inquisitive, learning natures as well as loving oneself- body, what one has done, heart and mind. – and loving others and the world in the same way – each "ingredient" a means for becoming and for going beyond.
Ultimately this self-acceptance grows, even blossoms when we see ourselves as a necessary, important part of the corner of the universe we are in. This relationship with the universe ( God, all God has created, called good, and seen good-when no one else would (seen in the life of Jesus) is to be treasured.

I have Traumatic Brain Injuries – but because I have had it so long, I have culled gifts from the pain, with no wishes for otherwise than what I am and have become. And the rest? it shall pass. And when I pass, that will be okay too – because I have experienced so much pain and suffering, and still come out relatively whole and still useful within the world – even at age 75.

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@caroleeuits I am so proud of you! You said what self acceptance is and what it means. What kind of brain injury did you have? There are times I can't think right and feel confused, maybe being 68 is the answer. Also being in pain and being on Tymlos can do it too. I'm on Tymlos to increase my bone mass. I loved what you said and it makes me be more accepting of myself.

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@gailb

Prior to my learning to accept myself, I felt like I was always observing and judging everything I did. I was an actor in a play, and everyone else was in my play to support or punish my behavior or my feelings. Slowly through years of group therapy in which I received lots of feedback about how other people viewed me, I began to see myself as a whole person who was good enough most of the time, and not so good at other times.

As I learned about how others saw me, I also recognized how I thought of myself. Since I had been left by my mother many times (and by my father) as a child, I thought I must not be good enough or lovable or smart enough. I continued in therapy for nearly 20 years, building and working on becoming my whole self. I went to college and eventually earned my Master's degree. That was a huge accomplishment for me and it went a little to my head. I was striving for perfection when I finally realized that no one is perfect. That didn't last long. I was in my 60s before I recognized my shadow self, even though I knew it was there. My husband helped me see that negative side of my behavior. He accepted all of me and continued to love me.

I accept myself as I am. I have worked over my life to learn and understand others as they are, and myself with all my emotions and experiences. One of the things I learned is that when I become aware of and accepting of others, I forget myself. I mean, I know I'm not the center of the universe for anyone other than myself. I read books, "On Becoming" by Carl Rogers, and his other books. I also read "Your Erroneous Zones" by Wayne Dyer, and "Women as Winners" by Dorothy Jongeward when I was in my 20s, and have read many other so called self help books. My friend once said I had a library of "How to be real books." I lent them out to others when they asked.

I have accepted and reconciled that I am fully human, with all that entails. I have lived, at 71, a very full, satisfying life.

Jump to this post

@gailb, You have read On Becoming a Person? Wow, I am a total Rogerian. He just got it right, especially Client Centered Therapy. Thanks…. I am excited. Chris

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@artscaping Yes, I've read it and anything else I could find by Carl Rogers at the time. I LOVED his approach to counseling. His work helped me more than anything I've done. Now I think I have to get that book and read it again!

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@caroleeuits

Self-Acceptance – is to a total self appreciate yourself as-is, including the wrinkles, junk, and all.
It comes when we learn to to relish what is, recognizing that the less "pleasant" aspects are for us to see as tools for making more of the situation, life or of ourselves than first seen as possible. It is what we arrive at when we have become and are as a result of our inquisitive, learning natures as well as loving oneself- body, what one has done, heart and mind. – and loving others and the world in the same way – each "ingredient" a means for becoming and for going beyond.
Ultimately this self-acceptance grows, even blossoms when we see ourselves as a necessary, important part of the corner of the universe we are in. This relationship with the universe ( God, all God has created, called good, and seen good-when no one else would (seen in the life of Jesus) is to be treasured.

I have Traumatic Brain Injuries – but because I have had it so long, I have culled gifts from the pain, with no wishes for otherwise than what I am and have become. And the rest? it shall pass. And when I pass, that will be okay too – because I have experienced so much pain and suffering, and still come out relatively whole and still useful within the world – even at age 75.

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Hello @caroleeuits and welcome to Mayo Connect! I see that this is your first post on Connect and what a great picture!

It sounds as if you have developed some healthy thinking and that your traumatic brain injuries have not stopped you from developing a healthy sense of yourself. You've had a remarkable journey and I'm so glad that you are sharing yourself here on Connect!

Could you share with Connect, as you are comfortable doing so, what you have done to develop this strong sense of self?

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