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Friday, May 7, 2010

The Key to Self-Acceptance

Life is a lot easier when you aren't beating yourself up all the time. If you like yourself, trust yourself, and have confidence in yourself, and then others will like you, trust you, and have confidence in you too. Most people's feelings towards themselves vary throughout the day. We all make mistakes, and we all let ourselves down from time to time. But some people are harsher on themselves than others. Some people hate themselves even when there doesn't seem to be a good reason on a particular day. Did you ever wonder why? We often look at the people around us in our lives and compare ourselves to them. Some of them earn more money, or have a more attractive partner or are more proud of their children. You might think that we develop negative feeling towards ourselves as a result of these judgments. This is true, to a certain extent. Consider for a moment though, that sometimes the feeling comes first. What if we already had the feeling, and it guided our thoughts? Maybe the feeling comes almost out of nowhere, and we backwards rationalize that feeling by literally making up reasons to fit it. If that were the case, no matter how much we try to think differently, the feeling will still be there, forcing our thoughts into a particular corner. That would make it very slow or almost impossible to change. If you have persistent negative feelings about yourself, this might be your experience. The key is to understand where the feeling really comes from. The truth is we simply learned how to feel that way about ourselves one day, from one time, one event - and it got stuck in our system. We had an intense emotional experience, where other people, or the situation, or just our own thoughts at the time, led us to feel a certain way. So we associated that feeling with a part of us, and began to identify with it. If you think about the strongest negative feeling that you have day-to-day about yourself, you might remember a time when you didn't feel that way. You might be able to pin down the day when you first starting feeling that feeling towards yourself. Next time when you feel that feeling, and you rationalize it with reasons out of the present moment, it should be easier to see that actually, you just learned to feel that way as a result of one event that could be decades in the past. Knowing about the memory is one thing, but often that isn't enough to allow you to grow beyond it. Tapping is one way to successfully let go of past memories and integrate the experiences into your rational mind.

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