Mindfulness Mondays 07

The voice of self-acceptance knows and embraces our wounds. It allows us not to be "perfect."

Self-acceptance

We have now progressed in awareness and expanded the practice of mindfulness into almost every aspect of our lives. The purpose of this long-term pursuit is to first improve our relationship with ourselves and then have an impact on both our immediate and broader circles.

The inner critic

We are often very harsh on ourselves. We pressure ourselves, have demands, and become perfectionists. Balance is the key here, as well as what truly lies beneath. For example, if behind the voice of the inner critic there are insecurities, fears, and unresolved traumas. Or if the voice of the inner critic is not our own but that of an adult (parent/guardian/teacher) who imposed on us and taught us that “this is how it should be.”

 

In substantial adulthood, we have faced and confronted this voice many times. It has hurt us, it has troubled us, we have argued with it… It is the first voice we hear when something doesn’t go as we initially planned, or if the outcome is different from our expectations.

 

inner critic, inner judge

How does this voice become another tool rather than an obstacle?

 

Recognizing the use of the inner critic

Recognizing and releasing oppression and choosing the ways that suit us here and now. For example, if in life we choose to take lessons in a difficult way, we can change it to something more beneficial for us. Without oppression, without pain, without guilt. We have the right to rewrite our story as many times as we want.

everyone makes mistakes, perfectionism is an illusion

When the voice of the inner critic is so intense, it finds everything wrong. It distances us from the voice of self-acceptance.

Cultivating the voice of self-acceptance

The voice of self-acceptance has the voice of a good friend who accepts us for exactly who we are without requiring us to change anything.

 

This voice guides us to become observers of our emotions and thoughts. The way it does it is with calmness, gentleness, with the disposition of exploration.

 

The voice of self-acceptance knows and embraces our wounds. It allows us not to be “perfect.” It allows us to come into contact with our shadows.

The voice of self-acceptance equally wants to guide us on the path of self-improvement, only it does so differently. By providing us with the space we need to experience and clarify our needs and priorities.

Pay attention to self-acceptance and internal connection. It is not confused with relaxation and the trap of the comfort zone.

How can I achieve such a thing?

We can use the power of visualization.

Clarify the internal behaviors and internal dialogues that are critical, violent, derogatory, and generally have a sense of attack.

Identify whose voice this is.

What would you say to this voice, which diminishes and oppresses you, if you were your best friend?

What would you say to your best friend to stand up for themselves, their strength, to defend themselves?

With this strong internal practice, we move away from the egotistical “this is who I am and whoever likes it”. On the contrary, we return to constant self-observation and self-improvement, we give our personal promise. We give space and time to evolve into the person we want to be, accept the best behavior, reduce abusive behaviors from the external environment and vice versa, and also stop ourselves from becoming toxic and abusive in familiar patterns.

We understand the survival mechanism. We take back our power, the value of our word, the responsibility of our actions and deeds. This is exactly why the result is to be mindful. We cultivate transparency, break dysfunctional patterns, change our beliefs, and see in the world what is reflected through us.

The next steps

After we have explored this initial process, it is important to see how much deeper we want to delve.

Self-compassion exercises. Dr. Kristin Neff has spoken extensively about self-compassion. These exercises involve treating oneself with the same kindness and understanding one would show to a close friend facing difficulties.

Setting boundaries. We discover our healthy internal boundaries. When the inner critic is overly harsh or unrealistic, we set boundaries for ourselves. We allow ourselves to take breaks when needed, say no to unrealistic demands, and prioritize self-care.

Seeking a professional on the path of self-improvement. Some examples include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Theta Healing, Gestalt therapy, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), breathwork…