The universal definition of self-acceptance is similar to the following: “[Self-acceptance is] an individual’s acceptance of all of his/her attributes, positive or negative.” (Morgado and colleagues’ 2014) But, how can someone classify how you’re supposed to love yourself? Or in other words, who can determine the way in which our beautifully diverse population has to accept one another? Clearly, no one can. We only get a glimpse of self-acceptance once we make it our own.
As a seventeen-year-old, there’s not much I can tell you about the science of self-acceptance. What I can share, are the ways in which I’ve learned to love myself. About two years ago, if someone asked me what aspects I liked about either my physical or psychological characteristics, my mind would have been blank. With my parents’ separation and my complicated home life, I didn’t have time to think about my feelings or even the dreams I wished to accomplish. I cluttered my head with worries and stress, which ended up affecting my academic and social life. I had been caught in a fog of confusion, which made me forget who I am.
After consulting a psychologist once a week, I began to recognize my strengths and weaknesses. I also adopted bullet journaling, which is a personal planner where you write down tasks or track habits. Along with this, every morning I wrote about anything I was grateful for, to start the day with a lifted spirit. Sometimes I watched a fifteen-minute video of Yoga With Adriene and did yoga in my room. I practised these routines as much as I could, wishing for any sudden moment of clarity. It wasn’t until I opened up to my closest friends, where I realized just how mundane it is to feel lost or confused or even hopeless at times.
Even though I’m still learning to appreciate the people and things that make my life what it is, I’ve been able to reflect on the importance of self-acceptance. As I mentioned before, there is no right way to love yourself since we all live in different realities. What I can offer you are reasons why to love and accept everything about you:
- You have people who love you for who you are, no matter what
- You’ve been gifted with the choice to be whoever you want to be
- You seek greatness or wish to achieve something that brings you satisfaction
- The world offers you opportunities and responsibilities, proving that you can improve our society and determine the future
- If you don’t love yourself, what will ever be enough to bring you true happiness?
So, what do I believe self-acceptance is? It’s a never-ending process where you learn, fail, and slowly succeed in determining who you are. As you grow familiar with your looks and the values you deem essential, you become aware of your personal aspirations. Although dreams change as you grow, you continue to add them to your personality, making you even more unique than before. Throughout your journey, at times when you believe you’ve lost yourself, you still grow more conscious about the things you cherish most and put aside those that cause you stress. The people and places that enlightened you, forever stay in your soul making you feel complete. Due to this and so much more, you learn to love yourself for you and only you.
~Emilia Simpson, Fundación Educacional Santiago College, Chile
Liked what you read? Share your thoughts in the comments down below, like this article, and share it with others!I like this!