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May 28

Accepting Yourself

This will be my first post in a series, where each Monday I will post about a point of reflection or insight that I will use to reflect and meditate on during the week. In order to make it a bit more focused and interesting, I will attempt to do this with topics beginning with letters from A to Z. I have often found that having a specific topic to reflect and/or meditate on during the week really lends itself to interesting insights and growth, because you not only have several days to reflect and meditate on the topic, but you have several days to put any lessons and insights that you discover to work in your every day life. For those that follow me on Twitter (@JasonLivingNow) I will try to write updates as the weekly topics come up during meditations, or just during every day life. To view the current and previous entries in this series, please visit the: Reflections and Insights A Through Z section.

My son’s recent Valentine’s Day pics. (c) Shelby Hurst Photography 2012

A= Acceptance: I think that beginning with acceptance is fitting because accepting yourself for who you are is really the beginning point of anyone’s journey towards personal and/or spiritual growth. Accepting yourself is key, because it sets the foundation that will allow you to truly build and refine yourself. If you haven’t reached a level of acceptance with who you truly are, then your foundation will be unstable, and it cannot support any true growth.

Acceptance of one’s life has nothing to do with resignation; it does not mean running away from the struggle. On the contrary, it means accepting it as it comes, with all the handicaps of heredity, of suffering, of psychological complexes and injustices. – Paul Tournier

As evidence by the above quote, acceptance doesn’t mean giving up on one’s spiritual path, rather it means coming to terms with one’s past, whether positive or negative, and not dwelling on the negative aspects of life in the future. This allows you to really experience and enjoy life, it allows you to really live in the now. Acceptance of who you are not only builds self-confidence, but it allows you to build positive relationships.

Personally, acceptance has been a huge part of my journey, because it has allowed me to not continually dwell on my past, which cannot be changed, and instead focus on making my present, and even my future, the best that it can be. It has also allowed me stop focusing on external influences for esteem and happiness, and instead it has allowed me to be accept who I am. This has allowed me to become not only a more confident person, but a happier person as well.

I am who I am, and I am happy with that :)

Practical Tip: Throughout the week, if you begin to think about a negative thing that someone did to you in the past, try to accept that it is in your past, and release it. If you begin to think of something negative that you personally did, accept it and release it, and resolve not to do something similar in the future.

I would love to see comments on what acceptance means to you, how you have used acceptance, or if you wish to use the topic of acceptance as a point of reflection during the week I would love for you to share any insights that come up.

Please come back next week for the next installment of this series, and as always if you enjoyed what you read, please share on social network sites, subscribe to this site, and share this site with others!

Also please check out my book, “The Path: Using the Religions of the World as a Guide to Personal and Spiritual Development.” (Click on the book cover to view on Amazon.com)

35 comments

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  1. jazfagan

    Acceptance= forgiveness. You can not fix what has already been done so the only option is to move past your mistakes and realize that you are only human. Acceptance= learning. You can chose to ignore your mistakes and repeat them or you can chose to learn from them. The choice is entirely your own, however, do you really like continually beating your head on the same spot on a wall and getting a different result if you keep doing it in the same spot and in the same way? Just a thought, Peace, Jaz

    1. Jason E. Marshall

      Great insights, I think that is very true that acceptance involves forgiveness and learning, which helps us to actually move on from our past in order to have a happier and more positive present. Thank you for sharing!

      1. jazfagan

        Jason, you are most welcome! Jaz

  2. Jessica J Marshall

    I agree with Jaz. Acceptance=Forgiveness. I have had many opportunities in my life to put this into practice. I would hold on to anger for things that happened in the past and I have only recently realized holding that anger was only hurting myself. So in order to get past it I accept that it happened and forgive those that need forgiven so I can live my life to the fullest with out resentment and anger. Thank you for the thought provoking post.

  3. August McLaughlin

    Thanks for the inspiring post! To me, acceptance means learning to be fully honest with ourselves then embracing the whole shebang—the great and the challenging. It often requires holding ourselves accountable, rather than blaming others or events and having the wherewithal to look within and ahead.

    1. Jason E. Marshall

      You’re very welcome, and I’m glad that you enjoyed this post! I think you have a beautiful concept of acceptance. I also agree 100% that acceptance means holding ourselves accountable rather, than pushing blame onto others. Great insights! Thanks for commenting!

  4. Alex Jones

    Good blog. Starting from childhood we are encouraged to compare ourselves with others, and to be unaccepting of ourselves. A recent study in my town of Colchester, UK, found a third of children had regular depression because they are unable to accept themselves.

    1. Jason E. Marshall

      I’m glad that you are enjoying the blog! It really is a tragedy that as a society we don’t do more to encourage our youth to be their own person. Take care, and thanks for commenting!

  5. Gunta

    I’m finding that acceptance seems to come easier with age and experience. At a younger age most of us seemingly are too tied into peer pressure to conform. I’ve found peace in accepting that I sometimes hear or listen to that different drummer.

    1. Jason E. Marshall

      I think you are absolutely correct. When we are young we want to fit the mold and be accepted by our peers; however, I think with age comes the wisdom necessary to not be pressured into conforming. Thanks for the excellent comment!

  6. erranttranscendentalist

    I love your idea for weekly posts on topics A-Z!! Thank you for such an insightful post. Acceptance is the end of resistance–beautiful.

    1. Jason E. Marshall

      I’m glad that you like my idea for the series, and I’m also glad that you enjoyed the post! Take care, and thanks for commenting!

  7. Resa McConaghy

    Well, I’m looking forward to “B” now.

    1. Jason E. Marshall

      Good! I’m glad that you are enjoying this series. Thanks for stopping by and commenting Resa!

  8. Dave

    I’m just as I should be. What I will be, is up to me, and is not dependent on what anybody else happens to be……Don’t have to compete with anybody for a coveted position nor, do I have to compete with me. Or, I can choose to compete, and compare. The point is; It is totally, unequivocally up to me to choose.

    It is nice to have that freedom.

    1. Jason E. Marshall

      That is very true, and once you come to that realization it is truly liberating. As always, thanks for reading and commenting Dave!

  9. debbrunson

    Excellent post. Since I’m a little later in the week I’m going to keep the acceptance reflection going :)

    1. Jason E. Marshall

      I’m glad that you enjoyed it! Please reflect on it as long as necessary. Also, thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  10. Robyn Lee

    Excellent expression of such an important principle Jason. I am repeatedly relearning this lesson… trying to accept best I can, what is …and avoid resisting. Thank you for the reminder here!!

    1. Jason E. Marshall

      You’re very welcome, and I’m glad that you enjoyed it!

      1. Robyn Lee

        😉

  11. Dave

    Acceptance is a large part of positive thinking. Just as you say, not to run away from life but, rather to accept it, and work with it, from there.

    It is the resistance we put on the negative that, only enhances the negative. The acceptance allows the opportunity to discover the positive within the negative.

    1. Jason E. Marshall

      That is very true, and wisely put. Sometimes, I give the analogy that negativity is like the brake pads on a car, if we focus on it and apply pressure, then the wheels of happiness grind to a halt. Thanks for sharing Dave!

  12. feelingchipper

    Great post, Jason. This is certainly something I have been thinking a lot about recently. For many of us, we feel frustration and anger about things in life that we cannot change or have no control over. If we can accept these things, I think it is the first step towards being a happier person. It’s good to hear you are happy!

  13. beebeesworld

    Thanks for reading my blog-I will follow your and hope you will do the same for me.

  14. beebeesworld

    meant to check the notify buttons-so had to make a new comment/question for you-how do you find someone you know or even a topic on wordpress, i have been on here for months and my “reader” just doesnt seem to have what it should….

    1. Jason E. Marshall

      I’m not sure that I can help you there. I normally subscribe via RSS feeds, rather than WordPress’s “Reader”, I could never get the Reader to work right, and with the RSS feed (which is how I subscribed to your site) it seems to be cleaner and work every time. Thanks for subscribing and be well! 😀

      1. beebeesworld

        Thanks for your reply-since I am a terrible technophobe, I find the RSS feed beyond my grasp as well. Even the tutorials leave me lost-any suggestions of “really simple” tutorials or ideas that may help me?

  15. nyparrot

    Excellent points here! Letting the past go and forgiving myself for mistakes I made (or still make) is an ongoing project. :)

    1. Jason E. Marshall

      I’m glad that you enjoyed it! Forgiving ourself for our mistakes and actions, is just as important as forgiving others for the harm that they have caused us.

      1. nyparrot

        Also, forgiving ourselves can be a harder thing to do.

  16. recoverythrumylens

    So happy that you found my work and now I’ve found yours!
    Yes, acceptance is key…I work on this everyday…learning to accept
    myself and my past is a continuing struggle…but as they say “progress
    not perfection.” When a negative thought comes into my head, I’m much
    more aware of it and try to wipe it away although some are quite pesky
    creatures. I look forward to reading more from you!

  17. the audacious amateur blogger

    Work in progress…

    1. Jason E. Marshall

      As we all are! Sometimes I look at the mountain still in front of me, but then I think back at how far I have come, and how much happier and confident I am compared to even a few years ago, and I can’t help but be inspired to continue on with my journey. Thank you for reading and commenting!

  18. Life Student

    I have no trouble accepting my life as it is. Accepting all that is me is sometimes a bit harder…if the two can be separated.

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