Self-acceptance is not complacency.Wanting better for ourselves, aspiring to move from stress to well-being and accepting our imperfections are not mutually exclusive states of mind. Of course, strong, educated, confident people find a way to live amongst societal pressures and uphold their own self-worth. Empowered, conscious living requires us to actively create the life we aspire to. Most of what is presented to us as the ‘ideal’ way to live requires us to uphold images and behaviours that are dysfunctional.
These images need to be interrogated so we are clear as to what we are aspiring to. It is important to evaluate our shortcomings, but within a larger picture of what we are trying to accomplish. Life is not only about achieving our aspirations and getting “a bit better everyday”. It is navigating the highs and lows of the road of aspiration. There are times on the path to go forward, and there are times to stop and rest. Wisdom and self-reflection allow you to discern that for yourself. Our quest to “do a bit better everyday” can’t be done in the same paradigm that drives workaholicism, overwhelm and stress.
Admitting to having days where everything falls apart and we don’t reach the summit we were aiming for is not begrudging those who can handle adversity better than us or who are better off. It is pointless to compare ourselves to others because the only one who is going to live your life is you. Finding within ourselves some humility and gentleness to accept that not everyday is going to be heroic, is not wallowing in self-pity — it’s accepting the moment for what it is in that space of time. If we can’t admit to having an “off” day without being told we might be wallowing in self-pity or begrudging others their wellbeing, we are setting up for ourselves an impossible standard of living and wellbeing to aspire to.