How to Accept All of You
During some of our last precious moments together, I asked my mom if there were any words of wisdom she wanted to share. She looked at the pictures of her grand kids, as she said,
“You have to let everyone be who they are!”
My mom encouraged us to do what we loved without judgment. She questioned us to find out our opinions and feelings on different things, and she agreed to disagree, always respecting our perspective. She accepted us for who we were.
In that moment I realized just how wise she was.
Thomas Anthony Harris wrote one of the best selling self-help books ever published titled, I’m OK, You’re Ok. In Harris suggests that a person’s psychological state seems to change in response to different situations. And, he sites 4 different life positions:
- I’m Not OK, You’re OK
- I’m Not OK, You’re Not OK
- I’m OK, You’re Not OK
- I’m OK, You’re OK
Obviously, the most desirable position is #4 in which you decide both you and others are valuable. You let others know that you appreciate their strengths, as you appreciate your own.
And, while this seems easy when reading this, I know there have been moments when I have experienced all 4 of these scenarios based on the circumstance, because different situations can trigger different responses in the same person.
I chuckle, as I think about how self righteous I can get (displaying # 3) when I take on too much, don’t rest enough and feel “put upon” by even the innocent slow moving stranger on the street who is blocking my way. When I notice myself getting irritated over things like this, it’s my sign that I am over-functioning, and I need to slow down.
That feeling of overwhelm comes from my subconscious belief that,” I have to do it all myself, and I can’t rely on the help of others.” And, it is not only completely untrue, but also exhausting. When I have my “poor, over-functioning me” sunglasses on, almost everything feels burdensome and draining.
I can’t accept anyone else or be kind at that moment, because I can’t even accept myself. I can’t accept my desire to take a break because of some crazy high bar I have set for myself.
Through all the stress relief exercises I practice and teach, I have realized this reactive pattern by tapping out my frustration with EFT and releasing that “put upon” feeling with essential oils.
Whenever you are able to let go of or release an uncomfortable emotion, you are teaching yourself that you are OK even in the face of a difficult situation. You are teaching your body and brain that you can be present, grounded and powerful in a situation which minutes before had you stressed and reactive. It doesn’t matter if that situation is self-induced, like mine, (LOL) or one that the world presents.
When you notice, accept and release your emotions, you are teaching yourself how to accept and to overcome adversity and your own uncontrolled reactions. You are giving yourself a choice in how you want to behave. You are practicing self-acceptance under stressful circumstances, and the repetition of this process gives you faith and confidence in yourself and your ability to handle anything.
You are also gaining insight into why other people may be the way they are. Most people over-react to situations because they are reacting to some other life circumstance, whether it is a negative belief like mine that puts me in my disempowered “poor me” mindset or a similar situation in the past in which they needed to defend themselves.
As you are able to accept our own emotions and reactions, and release them with this work, you not only can gain greater self-confidence, you also can become more accepting of others.
-Julie Hanks, LCSW
That doesn’t mean that you allow people to walk all over you. When you know what you want, are able to release your feelings about any conflict you feel with another, you can set boundaries that are respected because they are spoken with love and acceptance of the others point of view, and basically say, “I’m OK, and You’re OK; and we can agree to disagree.”
You can join me for my Essential Oils Chakra Workshop in which we will be discovering and clearing negative beliefs or emotions from your past that may be making your life more difficult then it needs to be. Join me LIVE at the studio for a full day workshop or discover the same class online in a two-night series.
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