: • Okay. Say you’re feeling something you don’t want to feel. For example: You got your hopes up about something or someone, and it didn’t work out the way you wanted. You could default to an internal monologue that includes any or all of the following: “you dummy, of course it didn’t work, how could you have thought it would, you’re gross, you’re an idiot, when will you learn to stop doing this?” (This is made even worse when it’s followed by: “Ugh, why can’t I just accept myself????”). Or, here’s an alternative.
Take a deep breath and let it out. (Don’t skip this step.) Mentally return to the hopeful part of yourself that you’ve been shaming, but this time, focus on ACTIVELY APPRECIATING IT. Not just sighing and being like, “okay, fine, I accept that this dumb, annoying part of myself comes as a package deal with all the other, better parts.” For example: Your hope means that your heart is open to desire. That’s beautiful. You’re not shut down? You’re able to conjure love and enthusiasm? That’s actually something wonderful about you, not something to be ashamed of. Breathe and remember that the outcome of whatever you’re feeling shitty about is not a reflection of your worth. Focus on loving and appreciating your tender heart; loving the truth of who you are. This is what self-acceptance looks like.
PLEASE NOTE that I know it’s not easy to create these new pathways in your mind— to re-frame these habitual thoughts and catch your subconscious in the act. But for me, the change really started when I discovered that my efforts toward “self-acceptance” weren’t working because my definition was inaccurate.
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