Our purpose in life is not to become who we think we should be, but to live out the self we truly are. The good news is: there is still time to accept your true self.
After thinking long and hard about what it really means to be happy, I have realized that being genuinely happy is being comfortable in your own skin, loving yourself just the way you are, no more no less, and accepting your life as it is.
But in order to get to that happy place, you first have to accept yourself and your life.
Accepting doesn’t mean that you are not to change anything, in fact, just the opposite – in order to change and improve, you first have to accept and then work from there – you can’t renovate the house you don’t own yet.
You previously may have thought that by the time you were 30, you’d be a successful writer or businessman. You thought you’d be a millionaire or married with 3 kids. You planned on becoming a world class ballerina or a movie star. But you didn’t count on working in a diner, auditioning endlessly for invisible roles, or being single and sharing a tiny flat with 2 unemployed roommates.
Or maybe you saw yourself as a cheerful, joyous person, only to realize that nobody ever saw you that way, but as a grumpy, semi-depressed nagger. Maybe you desired to be perceived as all masculine, go-to guy, but the truth is you are far from him. Maybe I would like to be a tiny voice, soft and gentle, but the truth is I am as opposite as they come.
Ok, sometimes the face that we show to the world is either our defensive mechanism that works as repellent, or some sort of “attractor” that will get us the attention and love we all crave for. Maybe you are that masculine man but out of fear that you might be ridiculed or perceived as a show-off, your adapting mechanism decided to assign you the role of the opposite one. Maybe I am all that gushy and mushy inside, all gentle and vulnerable, but my defenses come across as opinionated, strong and dismissive.
No matter what the case is, I have to accept myself for who I am. You have to accept yourself for who you are. All of you: your coping mechanisms as much as your true self, your unfulfilled dreams and your life as it is. All of it!
- Start by accepting your emotions and your thoughts. Acknowledge them, and know that it is ok to feel and think whatever it is that you are feeling/thinking. There are no good and bad feelings. All emotions are good. You are not your emotions or your thoughts, they are part of you but they are not who you are.
- Accept both your strengths and your weaknesses. Don’t close your eyes before the parts of you you don’t approve of. Accept them and approve of them because they have every right to exist, for strength or weakness are just a social category. We are not a flat plain of perfect qualities, but humans with bumps and humps in a dynamic plane of existence.
- Acknowledge the outer you. In order to finally live your true self, your authenticity, you have to first accept your ego, the way you manifested yourself so far. For most of my life I was trying to dismiss the outer version of me: opinionated and defensive along with the loud, life of the party version of me. Until recently I’ve realized that it was the only way my ego though possible to survive and be loved. I admitted to myself that some part of that outer me are actually the real me which I would never thought of changing, if I considered them socially desirable. It was when I finally accepted those parts of me that I was able to decide whether they still served me or not, and then worked from there.
- Accept your life. No matter what your dreams were a long time ago, it is time you accept that some of them you have accomplished and some you haven’t. See your life for what is it now, in this very moment and accept it. Take it as ground zero – stop looking back at how it could be, but immerse yourself in what it is and start building from there. Your life is not a rehearsal but a one-time show.
- The most important step is to forgive yourself. All the “wrong” turns, mistakes and bad judgments were the best you knew at the time. Be kind towards yourself as you would to any child learning the game of life.
- Wake up to the truth that you are enough! It is of no importance what others think of you. It is only your opinion that matters when it comes to you, for it is yourself you have to live with and look in the mirror. Realize that you don’t have to prove yourself to anybody – you are enough just by being you. The authentic you is what universe needs you to be. It is the way you will enrich this planet. Hush those negative inner voices by repeating:“I am enough. I approve of myself and I don’t need to prove anything to anybody.”
- Ask yourself every day “What is it that I want?” You, for yourself not for your kids, parents or anybody else but you.
Now go and love yourself. Make this planet a better place by being and accepting who you genuinely are.