The Life Cafe

Why You Need to Accept Yourself Before You Change


You can only change what you see, what you are aware of, what is in fact there, what you embrace

You walk into the therapy room filled with hope that the hurt is finally going to end. You surrender your soul and all your living secrets to the one and only person then and there; the only person that can help at that time. It’s hard, but at least initially it seems it’s helping.

And then you stumble. You slip right of the edge of the cliff into darkness and despair.

When only myself and my client exist in the moment of total focus, a question of total misery sometimes comes up “Why does this hurt so much?”When you search for therapy, counselling, personal guidance you want relief. You want to stop suffering and stop hurting.

We need release from the chains of the past that cause pain in our present and deprive us of our future.

That’s why we seek help. And, while that’s the aim of every person that you will find to help you along this path, the release still is painful. It gets worse before it gets better.

How could it not get worse when we open ourselves up. Not just to that total stranger; to the person we chose to assist us on this path of change; the person we chose to tell our most intimate secrets. But most of all, open ourselves up to ourselves. We will reveal our most intimate secrets and fears to ourselves alone; to the one and only person we’ve most been keeping them away from. To the harshest judge we know.

And when we do that, we are often faced with both revelation and confusion. “Who am I? Why have I not met myself my entire life?”

Getting to know yourself can be a painful experience. We live in a delusion. The masks we put up to others — to friends, coworkers, public, society — these are the masks we also put up to ourselves. Masks that guard us from reality. The reality we perceive as painful. Taking it off is not easy.

But you can hardly grow and change before you know what it is you are in fact changing; before you acknowledge it as reality that you want to change. You need to accept yourself with all the flaws before you can do something about them.

You will never be able to change what you don’t see, what you don’t admit, what you are looking away from, what you despise and deny.

It seems weird, contradictory, illogicalthe fact that the first change you make is the change in accepting yourself despite change.

Accepting yourself with all the flaws you want to get rid of. The first change you actually make is the change in your acceptance of yourself. Once you do that, you can in fact start changing what you don’t like but accept despite that.

Personal growth can be a hard and painful thing. Especially the first steps. But you will grow to love it. It will free you from the fears that are overwhelming you today.

“Will I be able to maintain my job? Will what I do today affect my career and future? How can I have a family not having a ‘proper job’? What will people think?” All this goes away as you grow and see the world for what it really is and not what you learned it to be. You see the people for what they really are, not what you were taught to think of them.

When you accept yourself with all your flaws, you begin to change.

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