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Self Acceptance (Peace…)

Preparing for Christmas through the weeks of Advent is one of the greatest gifts of our family faith tradition.  We are able to see the beauty of the season as it grows over time instead of focusing solely on the chores and chaos, and sharing this journey with my children makes it so much more meaningful…

When I wrote about accepting differences during the first week (hope) I was looking at the world around me and thinking outside myself. I shared my hope for more acceptance in a world that often seems clouded with criticism and judgement.  The best thing about sharing thoughts this way is the opportunity for connecting with  others – often the comments and responses make me see things (even my own  ideas) in a completely different way.  One of my inspiring friends responded to the thoughts about valuing diversity with her own brilliant perspective:

 

I loved her comment right away – making peace with oneself eliminates the need to measure and compare.  Being comfortable with yourself gives you the confidence and mental ability to think about others in a non-judgemental way…

I am reminded of this great cause daily by an art installation in my office made by Miss G. several years ago:

As (Oscar Wilde?) is famously quoted: “Be yourself.  Everyone else is already taken.”  Regardless of who said it, it isn’t always easy – in fact it is often ridiculously difficult.  I remember hearing once that the reason the habits and personalities of others are frustrating is that they remind us of the qualities we dislike most in ourselves.  We are constantly comparing our gifts and talents to others, as if there is a rubric or standard that we should be measured against.  We are miserably human in all our imperfections.  Dwelling on them can never lead to peace.

“Have patience with all things but first with yourself. Never confuse your mistakes with your value as a human being. You are a perfectly valuable, creative, worthwhile person simply because you exist. And no amount of triumphs or tribulations can ever change that.  Unconditional self-acceptance is the core of a peaceful mind.” (Saint Francis de Sales)

This week, in honour of the Advent season and the burning candle of peace, I will make an effort to make peace with myself.  I will forgive my faults and failings, and dwell only on the good.  I will let that light shine out onto the good in others, and extend the “olive branch” to those who might need to make peace with their own selves as well…

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” (Melody Beattie)

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6 thoughts on “Self Acceptance (Peace…)

  1. Anonymous says:

    My favourite Melody Beattie quote. With the rise of Brene Brown we seem to have forgotten Melody. She was the original authentic writer on shame. Beautiful post.

    Liked by 1 person

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