Self-acceptance is a roller coaster and, when we’re in the pit of despair, it’s just so hard to accept who we are. Whenever we’re there the brain engages in self-loathing and, after it’s done, we feel like a hurricane just passed by and now we have to pick up the mess, again.
It’s just not that simple.
That’s why self-acceptance is usually a daily exercise for me. Personally, some days I plainly hate myself. I’m probably blaming myself for everything and I’m dwelling in a sea of regret and self-hate. I know we all go through that and it’s always good to know how to get our way around our minds and stop self-loathing from happening.
Let go of labels.
I don’t believe I have any personal identity. I just am. I’m worried about living, about loving and, honestly, about what am I going to eat next (I love food, seriously). When there are no labels, you don’t see yourself as an authentic being different from anyone else, instead, you see a being capable of things just like everyone else. There is no label that could explain who you are. There’s no particular individual personality; one day you act one way the other a different way. You’re always changing and all those labels you insist on putting on yourself will eventually lose value. That’s just living.
Stop comparing yourself.
I know this is hard when you live in a country that praises individualism. But think about it. Believing you’re special will only drive you to compare yourself to others when that’s not healthy thinking. And this not only applies to skills but every life aspect, including love life. You do not have the same skills nor tools than the person right next to you, so even when you encounter the same obstacle you will not handle it the same way. That’s completely fine. We’re all capable of the same things, it’s just that some of us have to work harder than others because we all have different life circumstances.
You have weaknesses, so does everyone else.
Turning a blind eye on your “weaknesses” will catch up with you whenever you feel your worse. You have two options: you find the good side or you work on improving. And hey, maybe they’re not weaknesses but undeveloped traits you need to work on, that’s all.
It blew my mind how often I try to practice compassion towards others but never towards myself. We tend to be too harsh on ourselves, constantly judging our every decision like our very existence is an atrocity.
Which is not.
Sure, we make mistakes, but if it was our best friend we’d be like “Hey, this is just another lesson from life. From this you’ll learn and move on. You’re stronger now.”
However, towards ourselves it sounds something like “I am such a failure. Nothing ever comes out right because I’m a clumsy bag of trash.”
How come we can be so good to others and forget about us? Practice some self-compassion, and talk to you like you’re talking to your best friend.
Laugh at yourself.
Sometimes the only way to ease pain is by not taking ourselves seriously. Be the first one to laugh at your situation and say “You know what, maybe this isn’t so bad and there’s space for improvement.”. Astrid and I laugh often about our lack of self-esteem and, believe it or not, the ability to turn a pitiful situation into a funny one it’s not easy, but we do and in turn makes us appreciate ourselves even more.
Being constantly aware of this helps me stop my brain from trying to bring myself down. The constant self-judgment when going through a depressive episode can be very painful and trigger suicide thoughts. I’ve found that these steps help me stop giving credit to those harmful thoughts because as clumsy as I am, I love who I am and even more the potential that I have to become a better version of myself.
Have a sweet day, pineapples!