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Old 11-01-2009, 12:48 PM   #57
olwen
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Originally Posted by Fascinita View Post
For me, it's about compassion for self and understanding of self. There are some things about me I want to change. So self-acceptance in that context is inappropriate.

Compassion, OTOH, allows me to work for personal change while at the same time remaining kind to myself if I fail. Compassion eradicates self-rejection while it fosters self-understanding (since applying it leads me to understand what my own motives are for feeling and doing as I do) and leaves room for whatever dynamic change I may need.

I have found in the past that the idea that I was "supposed to accept myself" left me feeling confused about whether that meant I could also want to change something about myself, to grow. That's why I think we'd better not agree "officially" that self-acceptance is a good thing. That sounds too much like we're saying we know what's best for others.

Wherever anyone is on their journey, they are at the least human beings who deserve our compassion and love. As far as I'm concerned, those are the only "rules."

Congratulations, butch, on enjoying the fruits of your internal work.
Fascinita, let me offer up an alternate point of view. I never once thought that accepting oneself meant it wasn't okay to change. In fact just the oppposite. Accepting oneself means you have to be able to accept the changes you go thru in addition to the process of changing. Even if along the way you find out things about yourself that surprise you and make you uncomfortable that is okay cause it's all part of who you are and that is how you learn who you are. It's impractical to imagine ourselves as hard rocks that can't be molded, rather we are more like clay or water. Tho clay may change shape, it is still clay. Water may fit into any space, but it is still water.

I realize this is what you experienced and I'm not trying to invalidate your feelings or say they are wrong. They are what they are, but I am frankly shocked that anyone would think of self acceptance that way. It just never occured to me....it only seems logical to me that we should change in some ways as we get older. To me acceptance is just being able to accept who you are at every stage in that journey and if you don't accept who you are, it means something is wrong and something must be done to achieve some equilibrium...if you don't like something then change it. If changing something about yourself is hard (honestly most things are), then it's okay to accept that too as long as you can be happy with that but if you can't then it's all the more reason to try to change. Afterall, isn't life really about finding that equilibrium or in other words, following your heart?

I don't understand why the persuit of happiness needs to be something we should stay away from just because it's hard or painful. The payoff is contentment and to me that seems worth the struggle.
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