We don’t just have relationships with other people; we also have a relationship with our self.  And that relationship is foundational to all other relationships.

If you don’t accept yourself, you probably don’t accept other people either.
“The happiness, the peace, and the love you crave cannot happen without Self-acceptance.” - Robert Holden
Shame, guilt, perfectionism, old negative messages repeating in your mind, can all contribute to being down on yourself.
Being unhappy with yourself taints every aspect of your life.  If you don’t recognize that your unhappiness is rooted inside, you may mistakenly attribute your unhappiness as being caused by something or someone else: your job, your partner, your house,. . . . You might then conclude that you’d feel better if you could just change your job, dump your partner, move. . . .  But there’s a saying about the disappointment that can come when you do something like move in order to feel better and then discover you’re still unhappy: Everywhere you gothere you are.
click read more for: How to improve your self-acceptance.
How to improve your self-acceptance.
  • Healthy self-acceptance isn’t about ignoring mistakes you’ve made in the past or allowing yourself to repeat those mistakes in the future.  It is about engaging humility and courage so that you can examine mistakes, gather wisdom and understanding the situations have to offer, make adjustments and possibly amends, and acknowledge to yourself that you are human and therefore will make mistakes.  
  • Negative self-talk may be words or phrases that you heard many years ago popping into your mind again and again.  When you become aware of the negative messages you can challenge them.  In my thirties, I realized I would commonly hear “You’re stupid” in my mind.  I began to challenge it each time I heard it, saying to myself: “Reality check. You’re not stupid.”  And then remind myself of the evidence that I am actually quite smart.  Eventually the “You’re stupid” message went away.
  • Sometimes the negative feelings you have about yourself are the result of a secret you hold about something that was done to you.  For example, childhood sexual abuse often creates shame, guilt, wondering whether you caused the abuse, and holding on tight to the secret.  The result can be a heavy negative feeling about yourself.  It is very important for those who were abused as children to recognize that they were the target of grooming and manipulation; and heal those wounds.
  • Life is an experiment.  Learn to accept yourself while you strive to improve yourself. 

©Ann Silvers, LMHC; 206-660-9840