The mind-shattering glitch at the heart of self-acceptance

Yesterday, I spoke about accepting your situation.

Being so okay with it that you could live that way forever.

But there’s an important point to elaborate with that. Closely related to this idea of acceptance is self-acceptance.

I was talking about accepting your situation.

With self-acceptance, you accept yourself.

And therein lies a glitch. Maybe you can see the problem already. Perhaps it still eludes you. Either way, take a moment to really think about this:

If self-acceptance is about you accepting yourself…

… then who are you accepting?

Heck, who’s even doing the accepting?

It sounds like good advice. Learn to appreciate you for who and what you are.

And, sure, it beats the alternative. No one gets far by hurling abuse and ridicule at themselves.

But it’s still a flawed notion.

That there’s some “you” that can both accept and be the one being accepted.

It doesn’t work that way. The more you think about it, the more you divide yourself into parts. There’s the you with your arms wide open, and there’s the other you with all your problems.

This is a mild form of dissociation.

Taken far enough, this can shatter your mind into little fragments at war with each other.

That sounds dramatic, like I’m exaggerating things. But we’ve all had moments where we struggled against ourselves. We told ourselves to skip dessert, only to order the cheesecake.

Or we’ve told ourselves he’s no good for us, only to fall for the lies again.

It happens all the time.

This attitude can fuel that.

A better approach?

Accept your situation.

And recognise that everything that’s a part of you is a part of you. You don’t have to admire it, accept it or judge it in any way, because “it” isn’t there. It’s wherever and whatever “you” are.

For some of you, I’m talking in abstract nonsense.

For others, you’re not buying it.

That’s fine. I used to think that way before peeling back the layers of my thinking and seeing how my mind works.

(Which, yes, is dissociation. If you caught that, well done. This stuff is hard to talk about without falling into that sort of language. The alternative is to use even more confusing language, so whatever.)

Anyway, there are other benefits to thinking like this than confusing yourself (dissociation again?) and others.

It gives you a new way to approach your challenges.

If something inside you feels stuck, broken or painful, consider giving this a go:

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