How to accept yourself

Some people don’t feel like they belong, that they don’t have a place. Sometimes this feeling of confusion and sense of being without a place can make people become more and more isolated. The sad reality is that many more people than we realize are dealing with the difficult prospect of accepting themselves. Maybe this difficulty stems from childhood, you had someone who was supposed to take care of you but didn’t. Their lack of care or concern for you led you to believe that you weren’t worth the effort of looking after - that the tv or the friends or the job or whatever was more important than you. Whatever it was, you learned that you aren’t very important or good or worthy of love and respect. You thought of yourself as, “unacceptable” unless you did the right things.

How to accept others, mistakes and all

Maybe you are just beginning to accept yourself or maybe you already know how to accept yourself, you are pretty amazing after all. But once you begin to accept who you are as you are, then the task becomes to turn that acceptance outward to the rest of the world. The hard truth and reality of our world is that sometimes people suck. They are messy and frustrating and difficult. But they can also be wonderful and kind and good. One key thing to remember when trying to accept people despite their mistakes is that most people are doing the best they can with what they have. Most of the time people are trying to be good people and they try and do that out of the worldview and skillset and understanding that they have - however limited that might be. So, try to remember that people are usually not trying to be mean to you. That jerk who cut you off in traffic was probably not trying to make you angry or stress you out. That “jerk” was probably just driving. This advice does have its limits, sometimes people are mean and hurtful on purpose. When that is the case it will take a bit more than just understanding to work through.

Why should I accept (insert group here)….

This one can be quite complicated. There are often various reasons why people have difficulty accepting certain groups of people. Perhaps you were raised with a belief system that casts certain groups in a poor light or worse, says that you can’t accept them. Maybe you had a family growing up that didn’t like people who looked a certain way and that may have rubbed off on you. Whatever group or population that you think of when you read this heading, there is some rationale you have told yourself as to why you can’t or won’t accept them. But the fact that you are still reading this means that you have some doubt about that, you are at least wondering if there isn’t more to life and other people that you should accept.

I’ll leave you with a quote from one of my favorite people. It was true when he said it and hopefully it can be something true that you say to yourself, your neighbors, and the people you struggled to accept.

“I like you just the way you are.”

  • Mr. Rogers