Total Acceptance of Your Self“Accept – then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it… This will miraculously change your whole life.”
(Eckhart Tolle)

“It felt like you were pushing us to be the best, the toughest, to work the hardest, even more than the other kids, or what our coaches asked of us. And if our effort faltered, or if we didn’t believe in ourselves, that was “unacceptable!” — a word that even as an adult, I only hear in my mind from your voice!!!”[1]

That’s what my adult daughter Kaileen told me just a few years ago. It was tough to hear, and it made me wonder: why do we struggle so much with acceptance?

On August 22, 2014, Kaileen wrote, “It can be difficult to accept certain situations. Things happen that are out of our immediate control. Rather than fight what is, try to find ease in acceptance.”[2]

On November 16, 2016, I wrote about how our book The Greener The Grass shares Scott Barry’s “deeply personal, hard-earned lesson: to live life with humility and acceptance for what you have in the moment.”[3]

Difficulty, fighting, hard-earned lessons, and struggle – I’m tired of it in my life!

So for 2018, my theme[4] is Acceptance.

I love choosing and writing about an annual theme, because it’s an opportunity to reflect on where I have been and to consider where I want to go. It supports me in refocusing on what I most need and reconsidering how I choose to spend my time and energy. It helps clear my path of distractions, provides an inner power to overcome challenges with grace, and moves me consistently forward in the life I want to live.

The Gift of Accepting Others

On August 19, 2016, Sarah Kaufman told me about a beautiful story of acceptance in her life. She explained that she had been a quiet kid, and pretty shy. She’d been born with a hole in her heart and couldn’t do sports until she had surgery at age seven, so she spent a lot of time alone, on the sidelines, watching. She said she “longed for connection.”

“When other kids approached me, and welcomed me into their circles? That was pure heaven. It sprang from that delicious feeling of rescue and acceptance, coming when I least expected it – just simple human warmth, appearing out of the blue. That’s something I’ve always valued very deeply.”[5]

Talking with Sarah helped me realize the value of accepting others as they are.

On August 5, 2015, I wrote, “When I think of love, romantic love comes to mind first.

This is a strong and content love with a soul mate. It is a very deep connection that cannot be explained easily. It is a comfort and acceptance I had not experienced until I finally found my beautiful wife. This love is magical.”[6]

Pure heaven, human warmth, deep connection and comfort – yes, I want to give more of that to others.

The Grace of Self-Acceptance

On January 18, 2017, Alberto G. Guitron wrote, “Is there any closer relationship than the one you have with yourself? Yoga teaches acceptance towards ourselves, with no judgment, and unconditional love to our bodies and minds.”[7]

On February 24, 2016, I shared these tidbits of knowledge about acceptance[8]

From Leonardo’s Brain: Understanding Da Vinci’s Creative Genius by Leonard Shlain: “Galileo went blind using his naked eye to look at the sun. He mused, over his predicament: This universe, that I have extended a thousand times . . . has now shrunk to the narrow confines of my own body. Thus God likes it; so I too must like it.”

And from Tao Te Ching: The New Translation from Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu (Author) and Jonathan Star (Translator): “Follow your path to the end. Accept difficulty as an opportunity. This is the sure way to end up with no difficulties at all.”

No difficulties at all – I like the sound of that.

No judgment, unconditional love – yes, I want to give more of that to my self.

Moving Forward with Compassion

While researching for a post, I found this powerful quote by Adyashanti[9]: “A total acceptance of yourself brings about a total transcendence of yourself.”

And I wondered…why don’t we totally accept ourselves?

After all, as Galileo said in the 1600’s, if “God likes it; so I too must like it.” And as my daughter said more recently, “Compassion and self-acceptance are cornerstones of happiness.”[10]

Total acceptance and happiness – that’s what I want: for me and for you!

I’m excited for the New Year and I wish you every success you can imagine in 2018 and beyond! Do you have a theme for 2018? Please leave us a comment…we’d love to be inspired by your commitment to yourself and to hear about how you envision that playing out over the next year!

Love, Matt

[1] An excerpt from Turning Inspiration Into Action, Chapter 7, The Provider

[2] Kindle Clippings – Acceptance, Attitude, Action

[3] Lessons From Lost Perspective and a Magnificent Crash

[4] This is my twelfth year selecting an annual theme for each year and the fourth year that I’ve written about it for Happy Living.

[5] Something Significant: Sarah Kaufman

[6] My Philosophy on Love

[7] Can Yoga Make You Feel Better and Happier?

[8] Dropping Tidbits of Knowledge on the World

[9] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adyashanti

[10] Writing a Letter to Your Younger Self

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