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The longing to be our true selves and be accepted for who we are is often a pursuit of a lifetime. For most of us, self-love and acceptance have been a tall order to fill.
Depending on our upbringing and how supported we felt during our developing years, many of us arrived in adulthood feeling incomplete on some level or like we didn’t have the space or permission to truly learn and feel comfortable with who we actually were.
Like anything else, self-love and acceptance are very personal journeys that take time, great compassion, care, and a devotion to continue showing up for ourselves through the beautiful and messy moments.
We can begin to track how we are talking to ourselves when we are under the most stress or experiencing pain, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual.
As a practice we might invite ourselves to become aware of how we relate to ourselves when we feel at our most vulnerable.
Instead of allowing the critical voice to overtake us, we can practice creating space between the part of ourselves that criticizes us and the part of us that feels vulnerable.
We can acknowledge both aspects of ourselves that are looking to be felt and seen in their truth and experience.
With acknowledgment, the parts of ourselves that we often shut down or push into the shadows feel welcomed into the fold and don’t work so hard to derail us when we feel vulnerable.
Over time, we might feel more permission and safety to show up exactly as we are and no longer hide parts of ourselves that we have felt criticized or ashamed of in the past.
We have essentially created a new template for relating with ourselves that invites those around us to show up in relationship to us with the same respect, love, compassion, patience, and care we have worked to cultivate in ourselves.