Accepting Yourself Unconditionally, As You Are

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You can only lose something that you have, but you cannot lose something that you are.
— Eckhart Tolle

So many of us are able to love and to feel compassion for others, but what about ourselves? So often, we feel inadequate — we are all too familiar with our weaknesses and judge ourselves for our bodies, mistakes we’ve made, things we’ve said and done, feeling guilty and undisciplined for all the tasks we haven’t done, our level of productivity — the list goes on. We never feel quite good enough, never feel comfortable in our own skin. So we work on exercising and becoming thinner, smarter, more productive — working toward an end goal of who we ultimately want to be.

The problem is this day never seems to come. Somehow, it always feels as if it is beyond the horizon. It’s healthy to strive toward improvement, but when we are always striving for the next level or chasing an ideal, we end up on a treadmill which never seems to end. We are not able to appreciate the happiness that is available here and now. We are not able to awaken to the power that is currently within us.

What if you accepted and loved yourself unconditionally and radically? What if you directed the love that you feel so naturally for others toward yourself? And what if you did this today, here, now?

The truth is that you’re not perfect, but none of us are. Each of us longs to be seen and to be loved and valued. We each seek to find our place in the world. You’re human, and all the messy and imperfect and beautiful things that this means. Yes, you’ve made mistakes. Yes, you might be overweight. But you’re also awesome and wonderfully made as you are.

Love yourself today, and all the things you are seeking to change. Acceptance has a paradoxical quality to it. It’s funny how it works. Because once you accept, change is able to occur. Acceptance doesn’t mean that you’re happy with where you are currently at. Nor does it mean that you will stagnate. Instead, acceptance is the very soil through which you will blossom and grow. It’s the foundation of change.

So let go of criticism and judgment. It feels so much more natural and comfortable, but it is holding you back. Let your foundation in life be one of acceptance and love. Let it flow and guide you to your highest and greatest purpose and being.


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Victoria Chialy Smith, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist serving the Falls Church, McLean, Great Falls, Vienna, Arlington, Alexandria, and the greater Washington DC region. She provides individual therapy to children, teens, and adults with stress, anxiety, and depression. Our practice provides Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), mindfulness and acceptance based therapies, and other top, premier evidence-based treatments. Call, email, or schedule an appointment with us online today. We’re happy to help!