A person with true self-acceptance is “a person with full awareness of self in body, mind and spirit. This person’s center of consciousness (Hsing – “Heart Flower”) is in full bloom, ready to receive power from above, openly relating to and being reflected by others.”
It may seem clever to know and accept others
Yet accepting oneself is the way to Wisdom.
It may feel powerful to overcome others
Yet disciplining oneself is true Strength.
It may be noble to honor others
Yet respecting oneself is deep self-esteem.
It has taken me a long time to fully learn to accept myself as I am. And it is a process I’ve repeated many times over. Each time I come to believe I finally accept myself, I find something I still want to improve. Meeting this balance between accepting myself as I am and knowing that I have even more room to grow is always interesting. It means not being complacent with where I am at, but always knowing there is more to know, more to see and feel and do, and that is ok.
But I think the key is really respect. Self-respect is not simply about accepting who you are right at this moment, but also respecting yourself enough to continually challenge yourself. Not allowing yourself to become complacent, thinking you are already the best you can be, but knowing there is more you can do and always being ready to learn and grow and change, truly opening yourself to the possibilities of life that are all around you.
Having an open mind, an open heart, and an open spirit is true self-acceptance, knowing that at your center you cannot be shaken by the differences around you, since they are all a part of you anyway. Because accepting yourself, with your flaws and imperfections, means you can also accept the flaws and imperfections in the world around you, in the people around you. It leads you to not demand perfection of others because you know that you cannot achieve it yourself. This is not believing that things cannot be improved, but knowing that to improve things requires first acceptance of how things actually are. Denying those things, pretending they don’t exist, only means it is that much more difficult to overcome challenges.
We cannot lead others, we cannot teach others, until we admit that we ourselves do not have all the answers. A good teacher or mentor learns as much from their student as they are able to teach. It is the process that is important.