I Accept Me as I Am

Would you like today to be wonderful? Here’s one way for that to happen.

Say this to yourself, “I accept me as I am.”

I admit, it’s hard to do and you may believe there are many reasons this statement doesn’t feel true to you. I also know that no matter what, it’s worth doing anyway, because it can change your whole life.

It starts with seeing clearly that you are more than the things you associate with your life. You may believe that you are your weight, your age, your orientation or your relationships. You may think that you are your religion, your career, or your ambitions.

But consider this, you existed before any of these labels, and you are independent from them all. You are an essence, free and clear, beautiful, and radiant.

Others are sure to tell you who they think you are and will offer you requirements they feel must be met before you can be found to be acceptable. It is up to you to decide whether to allow this to happen.

Culture in general has numerous categories and boxes for you to be placed in. And once there, it can be very difficult to get out. We often tend to believe what we are told. We accept the words and decisions of others. We allow them to shape our lives, even to the point of determining whether we are acceptable in their eyes. This is too much power to give away.

Think for a moment.

What boxes do you fit in? Are you the one who chose or did someone else place you there?

Did someone else decide what you should weigh and whether you were too old or too young or who you can love? Did they demand how you should behave in this life and what you should believe? Did they choose your career or lay down your life path?

Are you comfortable with the choices that have shaped your life, or do you want to escape? Do you need a bit of a rampage in your life, so that you can kick some unhelpful things to the curb?

Maybe it’s time to take another look at your life and make some new decisions. Ones that suit you, that fit right, that you find acceptable.

Imagine that you could start all over again, who do you want to be in this life? Perhaps you desire more freedom, the ability to travel, to choose a new career or to explore your dreams.

When you associate outside labels with who you are, this can seem impossible. Something has to change.

Could it be that an answer is available to you by shifting your energy away from what others say and redirecting your focus to what you tell yourself? Perhaps that is where your journey begins.

For a moment trust yourself. Close your eyes and breathe easily and go within. Leave all the labels behind and step into the brilliant light. Once you are here, rest for a while. Give yourself a chance to feel renewed.

The real you is a heavenly essence. A beautiful ray of energy and a being of hope for all things. A channel to share love with the world.

This is the true you. You acknowledge this truth each time you make the statement, “I accept me as I am.”

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Standing Out

Do you know anyone who stands out from the crowd? Are you someone who does? If not, do you want to?

It’s funny to me that many folks I know, myself included, want it both ways. We want to stand out and be recognized for being who we are and to have our talents and skills applauded. But then at other times, we want to shrink into the background as far away from the light as possible.

What makes the difference?

How can it be that one experience draws up into the sunshine while another makes us fade into the darkness?

For those of you who don’t see the picture at the top of this post, it’s a stream bed filled with rounded rocks and one gorgeous red leaf in the middle. It’s such an interesting contrast. The muted tones of the smooth rocks against the rich brilliance of autumn color.

The red leaf stands out in sensational glory. My eyes center on it and it pulls me toward its rich redness.

A curious thought runs through my head. Would I notice this amazing leaf if it was among a mass of other red leaves, or would its individual splendor be lost? Perhaps the answer is obvious. I probably wouldn’t have noticed it. It wouldn’t have stood out.

The same is no doubt true about the rocks. Would I have noticed one individual rock among all of the others, if they all looked essentially the same?

So, does this mean that in order to stand out, you have to be different from what’s in the background?

I hope not. I hope that we can each see ourselves as the red leaf. Brilliant, special, unique. I hope that we can see past any limits we or others set in our way.

I wonder, can I? Can you? What would it take for us to answer yes to this question?

Sometimes it’s easy because we all do some things very well. They’re obvious to us and to others. It feels good and we shine.

But, what about the other times? The ones where we fail to meet our own expectations or those of others? The times when we want to vanish from sight?

I want to propose an idea to you.

What if you came to realize that within you there is a hidden greatness? One that could accept any experience previously considered a failure. A greatness that allows you to shift your perspective, turning any perceived failure into a wonderful learning step along your way.

What if this inner magnificence called to you by name and asked you to trust in your divinity? Imagine releasing any doubts and preconceived notions you have about yourself. Imagine knowing you came here already unique, special, and brilliant. And now that you are here, you can spread your wings and fly.

I am telling you the truth as I know it. As always, it’s up to you to decide.

There’s one more thing I want to say.

A dear friend of mine and I had many conversations and always returned to the same singular question she wanted answered.

She wanted to know how I could see inside her or someone else. She wanted to know how I could see past all the ‘stuff’ on the outside, to the inner goodness.

I told her that when I look at someone through my heart, what I see is beautiful golden sparkling glitter floating around them. I pause for a moment, then gently blow it away and see their magnificent heart. Each one beautiful, flawless.

Each of you are beautiful. You each stand out in your own way. I hope you know this.

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Withholding

What has been withheld from you? Is it food for your body or learnings for your mind or affection and love for your soul?

And can you answer this? What have you withheld from others? Do you keep your heart to yourself? Do you prevent compassion from leaving you? Are you holding things inside that might serve the world?

Even more importantly, what do you withhold from yourself? Do you stifle your dreams? Do you keep yourself small, to avoid detection? Do you push praise away or allow yourself to crumble when adversity comes your way?

These are hard questions and yet so very necessary to live our most magnificent life.

We need so many different things to prosper.

There is a quote from Hal Lindsay, author of the book, The Late Great Planet Earth, where he captures some of the essence of life. “Man (any one of us) can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air…but only one second without hope.”

I’m not certain of his facts because I can’t imagine being able to hold my breath for eight minutes, but I understand his critical point. We all need hope to live and if we lose it, nothing seems worth living for.

This is why I believe that it is essential to explore the idea of withholding, whether it is done to us or by us.

No doubt there are lots of reasons why withholding occurs. Things happen in our lives that create patterns, that mold us and shape us. Often, we are not even aware they are happening. They seep in and take hold and become a part of us.

What are we to do?

Of course, this is everyone’s decision. I can only speak for myself, but I know that I want to expand outward into the world and withholding prevents this. I want to freely give and receive. I want to loosen all the ties I attach to the gifts I offer. I want to be centered in love and fill up all the spaces where withholding lives.

It seems to me that I need a way to do this. Something practical.

Perhaps my first step is to become better at recognizing when withholding exists. But how?

I search my mind for an answer. Nothing arrives.

I wonder why. Are we not thinking beings, capable of discovering all sorts of solutions to our problems? Certainly, we are. There must be something, and yet nothing appears. Is this a dead-end?

Then something enters my awareness and I know what to do. I sit back and take in a fresh breath. I close my eyes and wait. I smile, because I know the answers I seek are on their way. In the quiet, I hear an inner voice. It is the voice of my feelings saying, “Let me guide you to your truth.”

I want to know more. A lot more.

So, my feelings continue, “All withholding is a form of protection. It believes that there is ‘not enough’ in the world, so it must impose limits. It relies on everyone to accept this idea, even if only in small doses.”

I feel the truth of this for me, but it seems incomplete. I ask my feelings; is there more you want to share?

“Yes, all withholding attempts to reduce your infinite size, regardless of the direction withholding travels. You are each a majestic, limitless, divine being. You have no innate need to withhold anything from anyone. The truth is you grow richer and stronger and become more vital and alive the more you share.”

“It is not necessary for you to investigate further all the areas in your life where withholding occurs. The solution is far simpler than that. I am the pathway. Being aware of how you feel will guide you. You know this already. So, when feelings of withholding appear, release them, for they are untrue. They can be cast aside, so that your magnificence shows through, and your divine light illuminates the world. Share your hope and your holiness with yourself and with all those in your life. This is how withholding vanishes.”

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Starving Your Inner Demons

Do any inner demons haunt you? Are they offering to rule your whole world for you?

If they are, what are you feeding them? Is their diet giving them their strength?

These may seem like unusual questions to ask, but there is a serious side to them.

Have you ever wondered how much of your behavior is prompted by your inner demons? Are you courageous enough to ask?

I don’t think I know anyone who is completely free. No one that doesn’t hear inner voices calling to them, asking them to come closer.

Perhaps, you are afraid to shorten the distance between you and these voices. That’s one way to approach things, but it has never worked for me, nor for others I’ve spoken with. Maybe you’d like to try another way.

I’ve talked before about the necessity of first feeling your feelings, because without doing so, you are running blind. You can’t see what is right in front of you. And you can’t follow any path forward.

Realizing that the feelings you are experiencing are there to serve you is one way to start. They are not in front of or behind you to threaten you. They merely want to walk along side of you and be acknowledged. They have a message for you.

If you gather your strength and release your attachment to your fear, your feelings will open you to a new perspective. And they will have a chance to deliver their golden message to you.

It is the same with inner demons.

We may think it wise to try to defeat them in battle. We may choose to pick up a weapon to hit them, but they become ferocious with us and will not back down.

If we tell ourselves, they are not there and try to ignore them, they bound around us and stare at us face to face. They taunt us and will not go away.

But perhaps we wish to alter our course and refuse to feed them. Maybe our choice is to without any food from them.

You may be wondering, how is this done?

I have my very own inner demons. It pains me to say so, but it is the truth. Maybe it’s the same for you.

My inner demons have various names. One of them is called abandonment, while another is rejection. They are sort of twins and often work together.

They say they are with me to protect me. I wonder who they believe they are protecting me from.

They cause a great deal of pain, for as long as I allow.

I need to repeat that last sentence, so you don’t miss it.

They cause a great deal of pain, for as long as I allow.

When they arise, sometimes out of nowhere, I now choose to stand still, open my eyes wide, slow my breathing and ask them to speak to me. They don’t want to. They would rather that I become angry, so that they can feed from me. Or withdraw, so they can have my energy. But I make them talk to me and tell me how my feelings of abandonment or rejection can serve me, rather than sap me.

No matter what they desire, I am still the one in charge, so they must share their wisdom with me. The harsh voices they use no longer scare me, because despite themselves they are here to help me. Abandonment tells me that I don’t have to feel or be alone. Rejection says that, although not everyone will hear what I have to say, there are those who want my words and my heart.

They have no choice but to serve me. Everything does, even them. Given no food or energy, they are starved for my attention and willingly lay down and go to sleep at my feet.

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How Do I Love Me

Who taught you about love? It might be hard to remember. It may go back so many years that you’re not even sure.

I believe all babies come to earth filled with love, ready to be held, so that they can share their overwhelming sense of wonder with anyone who picks them up.

I certainly felt this when I held my children and grandchildren. I looked into each of their eyes to see if they could remind me what heaven was like. I gazed at them and felt a beautiful sense of oneness and closeness. And I fell into their bright, shiny faces, absorbed in their afterglow.

I felt as much coming into me as I was sending into them. Each of them taught me about love.

Sometimes I wish I could remember what it felt like to arrive here on earth. To be the one held. I imagine what a difficult trip it must have been, having my first breath squeezed out of me and needing desperately to have my lungs filled with air. Then trying to adjust to all the open space around me and the chill and bright lights and commotion. It’s no wonder that many babies scream. I want to, just thinking about it.

As a baby’s days pass and their experiences deepen, I wonder, how are they to learn about life? Who will listen to them for the clues that they are ready to learn? Who will be their teachers?

Will it be an interaction, an exchange of the meanings of life or will the baby have to do all the receiving and not be allowed to do any of the teaching?

As the baby becomes a child, the lessons begin. All sorts of things must be learned. What ‘hot’ means. That food belongs in your mouth, not on your head or the floor. That scissors are pointed, and that most animals have soft fur, but very sharp teeth.

After a while the lessons shift from being primarily about safety and become about understanding the world. There is a process of discovery. What a color is and what letters are and how numbers work together.

All of this is important. Necessary even.

But what about love? Who teaches us about this? Is it someone who knows what it means and how it is shared? Or do we sometimes learn from someone, who themselves, was never taught and can therefore not teach?

Are we shown examples to follow? And if so, what do they tell us about love? Is there harmony between what we are told and what we see happen in the world?

Often there are wide discrepancies, and we are expected to behave according to other’s words and ignore their conflicting actions.

But we know the truth somehow. We can feel it.

And whether we like it or not, it becomes up to each of us to decide about love, especially, the love we feel for ourselves. We may be fortunate enough to have had wonderful role-models to follow, but if not, we owe it to ourselves to be our own source of love.

I believe that deep inside each of us there is an inexhaustible wellspring of love. It’s inside already, waiting to be tapped. We don’t have to look outside to find it. And we don’t have to wait for anyone else to give it to us. We can give it to ourselves.

I believe this is the truth because we all came here with it. Each of us was wrapped up in love.

We show our self love by giving ourselves permission to release all the lessons we’ve been taught by others that do not feel true to us, and recognize that they may have meant no harm while teaching us. They just didn’t know better.

We show our self love when we forgive those who failed to help us understand, that the most important love, is that which we show ourselves. Then we can move on.

We show our self love when we accept that we are all beautiful, radiant beings, able to embrace the truth that we are all lovable. And in this way, we take charge of answering the question, how do I love me.

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Self-Acceptance

I’ve found that I can not grow without first accepting who I am. When I fail to do this, there are inevitable conflicts that arise.

Let’s say, for example, that I want to lose some weight. Some part of me has already determined that I am not acceptable the way I am. Maybe this would be okay if my health was at stake, and I truly needed to lose weight to save my own life.

But that’s not my case right now.

I want it for other reasons. I’m not sure I even know what they all are. A couple pop into my mind. I believe I would be physically more comfortable shedding some pounds. My clothes would fit better. And I would look better.

Hold on, wait a minute. I need to ask myself an important question.

Who would I look better to? Who do I feel I need to please? What benefit is it to me to please someone else? What do I need from them, that would cause me to alter how I look at myself?

I have to stop and answer these vital questions.

If I am trying to lose weight for someone else, haven’t I already contaminated my purpose?

There’s more to it. If I am trying to lose weight and get on the scale every day and am disappointed with my results, a part of me refuses to accept me as I am. There is a sense of sadness and maybe anger.

I am forced to wonder; will I ever be able to accept me as I am? Is there some magic number on the scale that will satisfy me?

Let’s say for the sake of argument that there is a magic number and that I convince myself that I will always be happy with this number. The obvious challenge now is, how do I stay there? What amount of time and energy and commitment will it take to remain at this ‘ideal’ weight? This arbitrary number I’ve chosen, becomes my prison sentence.

So, I ask, what is it going to take to release this kind of thinking?

A companion question comes up. What is the comparison between remaining at this restrictive target weight and seeking and finding self-acceptance of who and what I am and, in this case, what I look like to myself?

Which is the far greater prize?

If I listen carefully, I hear my answer. ‘You are loved, just the way you are.  You do not need to do anything to be worthy of love.’

The voice goes on to say, ‘Love is yours for the asking. You are acceptable just as you are. Once you know this as true for you, you can change anything in your life. You can change anything, not because of fear, but because of love. You can add more love into your life and shift whatever you choose, not because you feel you need to, but because you see new possibilities and hold new dreams.’

This is what I was waiting for. A way to release my fears and embrace self-acceptance, knowing it belongs to me.

I hope that you know it belongs to you too.

As you’ve been reading this, our focus has been on weight loss, but self-acceptance is so much more than this. It applies to every aspect of our lives, and the answer is always the same. ‘You are loved just the way you are.’

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