Most people struggle with self-acceptance for one reason or another. For some reason, we’ve come to believe that we are not good enough. As a result, we battle with low self-esteem and low self-worth, while engaging in a constant war against ourselves in our heads. We get so used to berating ourselves in our thoughts that we cease to realise how hard we are in our judgement of ourselves. But how do you stop this thought pattern? Let’s take a different view and discuss how to learn self-acceptance.
Harshness v Softness
Let’s be honest, life ain’t easy for most of us regardless of colour, creed, or social status. Just about everyone struggles, admittedly or not. But why is life difficult? Are there ways of easing pain, stress, and struggle?
The truth is, it’s never going to be plain sailing, however, there are ways to ease the pain, and here are some of the basics. This is your first tip on how to learn self-acceptance.
Adapt a Wabi-sabi Frame of Mind
Wabi-sabi is a Japanese art term, a reflection on the imperfections found in all things natural, an integration of flaws, and a celebration of life, decay, death, and rebirth. In essence, Wabi-sabi art integrates flaws in gracious acceptance thereof. Instead of trying to achieve perfection in art, errors and faults form an integral part of the overall work of art.
In Japanese art museums, you’ll find countless works of art with cracks and damaged edges. A stunning vase comes with a fissure so deep you could fall into it. Yet, the vase as a whole piece of art is beautiful and deserving of appreciation and love. The deep cracks manage to emphasise and highlight the beauty of the whole. Without these imperfections, this work of art would fail to reflect the beauty of all things natural. For that reason, the fissure must remain because it speaks the truth and throws the focal light back on all the perfect parts of the vase.
Were the vase flawless, it would be dull, lack history and character, and represent something that just isn’t real. Wabi-sabi is about authenticity, nature’s cycles, and about the journey of emerging authentic beauty. It’s about embracing life cycles, birth, decay, death, and rebirth.
If you think of yourself with a Wabi-sabi vantage point and learn to accept life’s, as well as your own imperfections, a ton of stress dissipates. You no longer seek perfection but instead, you recognise the importance and value of the flaws and begin to embrace them. Throughout life, your own faults alongside the difficulties you’ve had to face have merged into the beautiful moving picture that is you and your life. Light and darkness interchange in a continuous life-affirming flow.
In the end, no one can expect perfection from you, that’s just not your makeup, nor can anyone demand a life void of difficulties.
Take a Wabi-sabi Look at Others
Once you’ve taken on board that neither you nor your life will ever be flawless, look at the person beside you in the same light. Just like you, they struggle, just like you, they’re flawed. And that’s ok. If you do this, you’ll find yourself with a far more forgiving view of humanity, your views soften, stress dissipates.
Seeking Perfection While Integrating Imperfections
This is not to say that there’s something wrong with striving for perfection but perhaps the age-old obsession with perfection needs to be put into perspective. Working hard to achieve a goal is worthwhile, as is trying to do the best you can. Do that, but all with a Wabi-sabi backdrop. That way, if and when you fail or someone else does, you can accept it gracefully and move on rather than fall into frustration, rage, and depression.
By embracing our natural state of imperfection, the things that are just right will shine more brightly, while the darkness that descends at times is more manageable.
Harshness v Softness
If you take all your flaws and combine them with all the curveballs that have hit you, you realise that in many instances, you were helpless. Shit happens, even when you try really hard. That may be a bitter pill to swallow, but that’s just the way it is. For everyone.
Throughout life, you experience harshness numerous times, occasionally, you may have accentuated that harshness with your actions and behaviour. We all do. But, whenever you envelop yourself in softness, things get easier and you are better able to deal with stress.
Softness can take all sorts of forms. Softness can be applied to our thinking, our actions, and our views. When softness is the focus, judgement vanishes, difficulties find gentle acceptance, and love can flourish. Allowing softness into relationships, close or distant, opens up a world of positive interaction. And stress levels drop.
Be Soft – If Just for One Day
Try to live the soft life, just for one day and see what happens. Bring softness into your thoughts about yourself and those you meet, go about your tasks with a soft hand, and enjoy.
You may be surprised how softness manages to erode stress, fear, hatred, annoyance, and pressure.
How to Learn Self-Acceptance – Softness and Wabi-sabi – A Powerful Recipe to Get You Through
A Wabi-sabi life is built on an immersed in softness, in the acceptance and appreciation of life’s and humanity’s flaws and failings. Birth, wear and tear, pain, suffering, recovery, healing, sadness, happiness – all in the mix. That’s just the way it is. Sometimes, it’s ok, sometimes it’s not.
These are my tips on how to learn self-acceptance, please share yours in the comment box below.