Insight into Self-acceptance

Accepting ourselves as thinking people

Our thinking determines the degree to which we accept ourselves.

God is a rational being who thinks: 'how precious to me are your thoughts, God (pas 139:17). Like God, we are people who think and it is probably this ability that shapes our personalities more than anything else.

As thinking beings, the difficulty comes when we completely identify with an unhealthy thought rather than acknowledging it, accepting it, then dismissing it, and finding words to say to ourselves that echo God's perspective.

For instance, if my thought is telling me 'I'm stupid' then I have a choice. I can either believe it, or look to God to hear what He says about me. If I think this thought is true, I may act it out, by being unwise with my decisions, not taking responsibility or pressing my self-destruct button.

Alternatively, I can deny the thought and pretend it isn't there and unconsciously act out difficult behaviour that is consistent with it.

I think further exploration is needed into how destructive thoughts can make it difficult for us to accept ourselves.

Summing it all up, friends. I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things, true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best, not the worst, the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. (Phil. 4:8, The Message)

It is through practicing this process that we will be able to accept ourselves more and feel spiritually alive.

Personal Reflection:
I love the thoughts and ideas that if you think positively that good things arise from it. I do teach Mindfulness so to me I feel I am able to accept the idea of how your mind impacts your behaviour. Maybe I will try another meditation each day.

Insight into Self-acceptance

How are we designed to live?

A psychiatrist, namely, James Mallory, said, 'A person can never understand why he behaves the way he does nor the importance and implications of his behaviour until he understands who and what he is. If we don't understand how God has created us then we will not fully understand how we can grow to accept and love ourselves more.

A.W.Tozer said: 'We can never know who and what we are till we know at least something about what God is. So before we look at the psychological blocks that get in the way of self-acceptance, lets briefly explore something about God and his relationship with us. The Bible tells us that He is a personal God who created us in His image. (Gen. 1:26) as unique individuals, relating to us with love and acceptance.

God has made us with five distinct areas of functioning: we are physical beings, thinking beings, behavioural beings, emotional beings and spiritual beings.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 'May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.'

Selwyn Hughes, said that the 'soul' refers to our thoughts, feelings and decisions (in other words, our mind, emotions and will).

These different ares of functioning are not designed to work in isolation but in an integrated way. This helps us towards self-acceptance.

To live as God has designed us is to have these areas working together in harmony so our lives connect to God with a deepening relationship.

In my next postings, we shall explore the 'Waverley model', it explores how one area of our functioning can affect another. An example of this is, if we think we are 'stupid' then we will feel awful about ourselves, we may feel the need to conform to this label, and this will affect us spiritually.

We shall look at this briefly in my next postings.

Personal Reflection:

When I read through this short passage, it makes me see that when looking after your whole self, that everything you do has an affect on your spiritual wellbeing, regardless whether your religious or not.
Many people often disregard holistic healing, as a waste of time, when in actual fact this probably helps you more than any prescribed medication.
Interesting reading…

Insight into Self-acceptance

Self-Acceptance Enhances Relationships

The positive impact of learning self-acceptance is that we are able to accept others more.

When we do not judge ourselves harshly, we don't tend to judge others harshly either.

When we have patience with the parts of ourselves we don't like, we will have patience with aspects of others we don't like.

When we don't accept our deepest desires and thoughts, and face our vulnerabilities, it is difficult to have close relationships.

To be intimate with another is to risk exposing the real 'me' to another.

Why am I afraid to tell you who I am? By John Powell

He explores ways in which we may adopt roles and play psychological games in order to protect ourselves from feeling insecure and unvalued.

If there is part of us that we would rather keep hidden, we put a barrier up around ourselves.

Having the courage to instead accept those parts will remove that barrier, and help us to deepen our relationships with family, friends and work colleagues in a healthy way.

In Thomas Harris' book : I'm ok, You're ok,' he describes four ways in which self-acceptance affects our relational style.

  • I'm Not OK, You're OK

This is saying that we are inferior to others.

We can be dependent upon others' approval of us to meet our deep needs – for security, value and worth.

Co-dependent relationships are very often one-sided and unhealthy.

  • I'm Not OK, You're Not OK

This response would be acceptable if we recognise 'there is no one righteous, not even me', (Rom. 3:10).

A negative attitude of critics may, rejection, self-pity and anger towards self, which we then project onto others, can create a wall around a person leading to isolation and distress.

This is not healthy.

  • I'm OK, You're Not OK

A person with this attitude can be arrogant and contemptuous, imagining themselves to be superior in every way.

Alternatively, they can be independent and self-sufficient, keeping others at arms length.

This is not healthy.

  • I'm OK, You're OK

This is the healthy way to relate to others.

When we value ourselves in spite of our weaknesses and faults – which is what self-acceptance is – we automatically communicate to others that they are also acceptable beings of value, just as they are, without pointing out their faults and weaknesses.

People who relate in this way are comfortable in their own skin and comfortable with others – even when there are differences and disagreements.

In order to enjoy good and healthy relationships it's important we receive the grace of God to accept who we are and live out the bodily principle, 'I'm OK, You're OK.'

Personal reflection

Sometimes when things go wrong, which for me can be quite often! We will retreat back into our shells, our own protective little bubbles where no one can hurt us. At the time we always believe that's the best thing to do. However, in my experience this means avoidance and more emotional issues!

As we mature in our lives, we made little changes as we begin to understand more about ourselves, and what we want to achieve. I suppose you could say that we are more laid back, willing to accept ourselves as well as the people we live with!

I think that this post reflects accurately on our culture and society today…

Now it's time for you to be honest and reflect upon yourself and relationships that you are involved in, believe in yourself, no ones perfect!

Insight into Self-acceptance

A Healthy Self-Love

It may not be easy, but we can learn to fully accept things about ourselves that we don't necessarily like.

Self-love is not about vanity, selfishness, egocentricity or arrogance.

It is about caring for ourselves, knowing and taking responsibility for both our strengths and weaknesses.

When addressing the object of self-acceptance, as the focus is on 'self' the danger is that we can become too self-centred.

It is important to have a healthy balance between our attitude to self and our attitude to others.

After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, that as Christ does the church (Eph. 5:29).

Yet we are able to 'love one another' (John 13:34)

A healthy self-love is not about putting our own needs first.

Being preoccupied with ourselves means taking our eye off God, and turning off a desire to extend unselfish love to others and live a life to the glory of God.

As we continue this journey, we need to spend time examining 'self', keep the following scripture in the back of your mind.

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends. (John 15:13)

Personal Reflection:

The hustles and bustles in life mean that all too quickly we can become engulfed into the manic mania in which we live.

The everyday stresses that impact our thinking, our emotions, and how we conduct ourselves in society.

Do you have a stressful job, deadlines to meet, meetings to attend?

Are you reliant on public transport, and it always being late, and then the road works! Errr! How annoying.

And this has all happened first thing in the morning.

When have we checked in with ourselves or asked a friend if they need some help getting to work, or help carrying something from their car as they have lots.

Do we recall someone vulnerable that person may need someone to talk too, grab a coffee with them and actively listen to them.

Most probably not. We haven't the time. We are too busy in our own little bubbles to look at for others.

This Self-Love is something I've not really done before. It's made me stop and think…

There's so much more to life that I'm yet to see, as I've become a spectator of life, just watching the world go round, and not actively engaging in any opportunities that have come before me.

My invisible illness seems to have swallowed me up, then spat me out, and now I'm ready to try and build a fruitful life for myself and my family, and friends.

What's you view point?

Insight into Self-acceptance

Vital For Health

How we perceive ourselves and what we tell ourselves will have a direct impact upon our bodies and health.

An example of this is having self-acceptance, showing ourselves compassion and kindness. This is shown to lower stress hormones within our body and boost our immunity system.

Psychologists and educationalists also believe that in order to have good mental health we need to believe in ourselves. Self-acceptance.

When our self-esteem is particularly low, our thinking can become very self-critical and self-hating.

The longer we battle with the internal stress of hearing ourselves say things like, 'you are never good enough', 'you're a failure' and so on, the more our stress hormones will suppress our immune system. A simple chain reaction will take place.

The stress hormone, corticosteroid, can suppress the effectiveness of the immune system by lowering white cells, (lymphocytes). These white blood cells protect the body from being invaded by bacteria and viruses. (Saul Mceod, 'Stress, illness and the immune system', simply Psychology (2010).)

So, if our internal world is always screaming at different parts of ourselves with no acceptance, this causes a stress reaction, our immunity is lowered and we are more likely to suffer ill health.

Developing skills that eliminate negative thoughts and promote emotional health can have really positive effects on both mental and physical health.

Self-acceptance is healthy.

Personal Reflection:

So I already knew about how stress can affect your body causing ill-health, as I've been ill!
However, if it's known that relaxation helps stress, then why don't doctors offer advice such as mindfulness and Yoga, instead of administering drugs?
Drugs are addictive.
Relaxation classes such as meditation, mindfulness is available in the community, this therefore promotes socialisation and potential friendship and a routine to care for the whole person rather than one element, whereas prescribed drugs may help but not actually address the root of the problem, therefore your no further forward in your healing…..

Your thoughts?

Insight into Self-acceptance

Respecting Ourselves

Often, we can accept and respect others, but can't do the same towards ourselves.

It's easy to berate ourselves harshly whenever we make a mistake, isn't it?

But learning to accept ourselves means that we can acknowledge and respect our fallen humanity, our imperfections and our fragility.

When we truly believe that we are valuable human beings to God, we can simply allow ourselves to 'be' rather than having to 'do' anything. It seems to be a natural human instinct to think we have to do things to prove we are good enough, but God accepts us for just 'being' human.

To know that God loves and respects us is the very foundation of self-respect. The Bible says, 'God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in a God, and God in them.' ( 1 John 4:16).

We can respect ourselves by:

  • Not speaking negatively to/about ourselves
  • Honouring our moral code
  • Not pleasing others trust to gain their affirmation and approval; preferring instead to not conform to the expectations of others.

We respect ourselves when we control our emotions rather than letting them spill out, which can leave us full of embarrassment and shame (and, as a result, we may become self-critical for the way we handled our emotions).

Even when we do have an emotional outburst, a better way would be to take responsibility for our lack of self-control, accept that we are broken people, and ask Gods Holy Spirit to help us to process our emotions in a healthier and more constructive way.

Being honest, but also gentle, will help us have a far greater respect for ourselves.

Personal reflection:

I have found a few times that I have become very emotional and this has left me feeling awkward, and ashamed of myself. Rather than dealing with my outburst, I find that I try to just avoid that person instead. This has resulted in me alienating myself from friends, and becoming lonely and upset. Then other emotions kick in and I feel very blue indeed.
I will reflect upon what I've read and written today, and take time out to develop an understanding of the world I live in. The people around me, and the challenges that arise daily.
Maybe a reflective journal may be a good idea…….

Insight into Self-acceptance

An All-Encompassing Approach

Self-acceptance is an all-encompassing term that can often be mistakenly used with other phrases. It can often be confused with self-esteem. Self-esteem is more about how we evaluate our own worth and to what degree we value ourselves. It is about how we judge ourselves, whereas, self-acceptance is an attitude towards ourselves that has a huge affect to our self-esteem.

Having a healthy self-esteem is vital for our emotional health, but often we focus on how valuable we think we are, based upon what we have accomplished in our life.

But what happens when things don’t go quite as we planned? The outcome wasn’t the one we wanted, therefore we didn’t achieve our desired goals.

Does this affect our sense of wellbeing? 

If this is so, does this indicate that we have not accepted ourselves,  who we really are, regardless to what’s going on outside?

Self-acceptance does not rely on achievements and accolades to build us up.

Self-acceptance has no measurable quantities, it has no conditions attached to it. It’s about accepting who we are in Christ. It’s about being the person we can be at any moment in time, because we are created in the image of God and he accepts us for who we are, at whatever stage. 

By growing self-acceptance we learn to be kind to ourselves.

My personal reflection:

Belief in oneself should come naturally, it shouldn’t be filled with self doubt, worries, fears, and constant questioning. 

I personally find that self-acceptance of whom I am as an individual being is very hard in comparison to the expectations of what I believe others expect of me. 

My so called ‘invisible illnesses’ do not help me, people are constantly judging me. Or our they?

I know that other people should not impact me this way as it does on a daily basis. But I seem lost. Hence my journey with you guys to explore the concept of actually living and loving life.
Is it me who cannot accept that I must look inwards at myself, work with my skill sets that I have. Share my knowledge with others in my community. Love life and remember that I have good qualities in me, a little bit of positivity to make me smile – my loving partner and children around me, a warm house and food and water, my necessities are all met, thank the Lord for his good grace in providing for me and people I love.