Self-Acceptance, by Prem Sadasivananda

All relationships are important, but the relationship with one’s own self constitutes the essence of how we relate to everything else. In simple words the more accepting, the more compassionate relationship we have with our own self, the more accepting and enriching will be our relationships with others. Have you ever contemplated how the manner in which you treat yourself affects how you see or treat others? 

 Our mind is like a large mirror that has two sides – one facing in, and other facing out. The two sides are interactive and affect each other. How we perceive the things outside is influenced by the quality of the reflection of our ‘inside’. 

 If our ‘mirror’ is clean and it's surface even, it will reflect perfectly the best of our self. As the result, the world and we too, will be the receivers of our kindness, love and wisdom. But if the mirror is full of cracks and covered with dust, the distorted inner reflection will affect how and what we see outside. In consequence, there will be a perception of and a tendency to create unrest, hurt and suffering. We see outside what we are within. The perceived depends on the perceiver. We clothe everything with our own feelings, emotions, memories, established beliefs, etc. A kind person who is kind to himself or herself tends to enact or express kindness towards others; an angry person with himself or herself tends to project the same feeling on to others. Every reality within is experienced and projected externally. Therefore, we need to know our own self better! It is in the process of knowing our body and mind that we learn to accept them. The three keynotes in understanding of our self are self-evaluation, compassion and discipline. 

To love one self is the most natural, yet the most evasive. Love for oneself is not an egoistical self-indulgence and self-boasting. Healthy love for oneself is free from arrogance and pride. Spiritually speaking self-love is being awakened to the presence of the Divine within us. 

One might think that self-acceptance would be the easiest thing, but it is not. It takes courage, compassion and wisdom. Some people don’t like their own looks, attitudes or painful experiences. 

Some are angry and dismayed at their own limitations and character flaws often masqueraded in the form of the complexes they have. More than often people feel embarrassed of who they are and they feel guilt weighing them down. 

In reality, each one of us has a complex, an experience or a memory that we would like to conceal. We all have an unpleasant side. This side of us requires acceptance and love in order to heal. But that love and acceptance must come first from our own heart.

Acceptance really means accepting those parts of ourselves, such as our anger, aggression or fear, our sensual nature, memories, or hurts and things that we find difficult to reconcile with. They are like the toxins in the body, which if not cleared out of the system, continue to poison the body. The more we push these aspects of our personality away, or beneath our conscious mind, the more toxic they become. Self-acceptance is generally a not pleasant or happy sight. We need plenty of courage to efface the unpleasant side of our mind and to accept it – with perseverance, honesty and with no judgment or shame.  Learn to step away from your mind, and learn to evaluate your experiences dispassionately and as accurately as you can. Neither the acceptance nor the healing can take place if we allow ourselves to be completely absorbed in and identified with any mental state. 

Think not much of the past. Project yourself into the future.  You have a vast potential; you can make yourself into anything you want. 

 “Lest you get discouraged by your own faults, the Dhammapade gives you this solacing image: the purest lily can spring out of a heap of rubbish by the wayside. That is to say, there is nothing so rotten that it cannot give birth to the purest realization. Whatever may be the past, whatever may be the faults committed, whatever the ignorance in which one might have lived, one carries deep within oneself the Supreme purity which can translate itself into a wonderful realization.” Buddha

Prem Sadasivananda is a teacher at Love Integration Yoga. You can join him on May 4th for a 2 Hour Sivananda Yoga Class followed by a (Kirtan) a call and response musical experience and a (Satsang) an uplifting spiritual talk!

As well as joining in on a series of spiritual and inspirational talks! The next one is: Mastering your Mind, Empowering Your Life a series of 3 lecture based classes meets weekly on Wednesday Nights May 8 - May 22nd 2019 7:15-8:30 pm at Love Integration Yoga. The talks will focus on theoretical and practical tools necessary to bring our resolutions, dreams and hopes to fruition. Understand the limitless potential of your mind, Create a foundation for building a successful life based on spiritual principles.