I talk a lot about self-acceptance, and something that is continually brought up is whether or not we should always accept ourselves, even if it’s for some less-than-desirable traits. My opinion on that, whether or not I’ve expressed it clearly enough, is that acceptance doesn’t have to mean we’re exuberant about every part of ourselves. Sometimes, it means we have to come to terms with what we need to work on, then love ourselves enough to admit that we were wrong, and to try to be better. You don’t have to change who you are, but these are some of the reasons why you may have to change how you think, feel or behave.
1. Whether subconsciously or not, you think you can control other people, and become frustrated when you realize you cannot. There is a great deal of stress that we experience every time something doesn’t work out in our favor– we tend to lash out when we’re not in control and think we should be. But the only person you are in control of is you. And sometimes its time to realize that whether or not you agree with the opinions or prerogatives of other people does not make them wrong or right.
2. You believe you have validation to agree with the discrimination of one person or a group of people. I believe that people are getting increasingly quieter about their prejudices as the movement for human rights gains momentum. But that doesn’t mean that the prejudices are gone. How we resolve them is by changing our individual levels of consciousness and putting into practice the concepts of equality and justice.
3. You have a nagging urge to continually pick fights with people for inconsequential reasons, and do, often. This applies on a grander scale, too: if you feel like you have to continually aggravate people for your own enjoyment, you really need to analyze yourself. If you are that pleased by other people’s anger, you have some internal issues to iron out.
4. You won’t consider the viewpoints of other people. This is crucial for learning, connecting and developing our society: we must learn to listen to each other, even if at the end, we come out still disagreeing. We must learn to peacefully agree to disagree, and not have it turn into a violent or otherwise harmful issue.
5. You don’t show respect for those who can’t do something for you. I’ve said this before, and its the fact that everybody is kind and giving to the people who they are expecting something from in return. You want a true gauge of someone’s character? See how they respond to someone who cannot do anything for them.
6. You continually ensure your own well-being– by any means– without regard for others. Instinctual survival is nothing to be blamed for, of course. But we do have to learn to transcend our “every person for themselves” attitude and be a bit more progressive by the means of worrying about others as much as we do ourselves. It’s more fulfilling in the end anyway.
7. Your focus is immediate, not eternal. Yes, I do mean to compare the here and now to infinity. You have to start looking at things within the span of the greater picture and the universe at hand. It may feel good to seek revenge, but in the grand scheme of things, it will feel better to let things go.
8. You are easily angered and you take it out on other people. I have people like this in my life and its extremely frustrating, but its indicative of the fact that they have some issues that they have to work out within themselves. The truth is that we don’t get angry at things in others that we don’t recognize in ourselves. Consider how often you find yourself annoyed or speaking ill of someone for no legitimate reason. Believe me when I say it says infinitely more of you than it does of them.
9. You feel lifeless. This, unfortunately, is the reality that so many of us have to endure everyday. It’s feeling as though we are numb and that nothing matters. It’s the opposite of other possibilities as I described before, but its just as debilitating.