Self-Responsibility and love are the foundation and context of wellness. They are the seeds from which all other wellness dimensions sprout. Before we go any further, think about those two statements for a minute.
What does it mean to love yourself and take responsibility for caring for yourself?
Continuing with the series of blogs on Wellness, this post will begin the focus on the 12 dimensions of wellness and the idea that everything is connected, linked and interdependent.
Self Responsibility and Love
As a dimension of wellness self-improvement is great if it’s done in a spirit of fun and creativity, or even approached as a method of learning. However, if we are always feeling that we aren’t good enough as we are, we will never be satisfied by any of the changes we make.
The problem with any focus on self-improvement is that such an orientation inevitably makes self-acceptance conditional. In other words, I’m working on improving my body with exercise and, therefore, am not accepting my body the way it is.
Therefore, the first step in creating the life of our dreams based on wellness is to arrive at a place of true self acceptance. As the John Legend song goes, work on accepting, “All your perfect imperfections.”
After all, we can’t ever feel totally secure or good enough so long as our self-regard depends on constantly bettering ourselves, can we?
Additionally, self-acceptance is here-and-now oriented, not future oriented, as in: “I’ll be okay once…(I lose five pounds, etc. etc.)” or “As soon as I accomplish…(A flatter tummy, etc. etc.) I’ll be happy.”
Self-acceptance is about already being okay, with no qualifications whatsoever.
This doesn’t mean that we ignore or deny our faults or frailties, just that we view them as irrelevant to our basic acceptability. Perhaps you say to yourself, “Yes, this is not perfect, but it is mine, and because it is the way it is, I accept it.”
Self-Acceptance and Personal Growth
It’s also possible to accept and love ourselves and still be committed to a lifetime of personal growth. Instead of seeing the two as mutually exclusive, try to connect them; what if something good could be great, for example.
Accepting ourselves as we are today doesn’t mean we’ll be without the motivation to make changes or improvements that will make us more effective, either.Understanding the basis of motivation and what drives us an propels us forward is an important element of self-acceptance.
We don’t have to actually do anything to secure our self-acceptance: we have only to change the way we look at ourselves. So changing our behaviors becomes solely a matter of personal preference–not a prerequisite for greater self-regard.
You may need to work towards how you speak to yourself so as not to set unrealistic qualifiers on yourself. Good enough, as I’ve said previously, should be good enough.
Creating Self-Acceptance for Yourself
In order to stand firm on the platform of self acceptance you have to start by taking responsibility for yourself, your choices, and asking for what you need. Self acceptance is ultimately about creating the vital and energy filled life and knowing that you deserve it.
On the other hand, beating yourself up over mistakes, or physical issues you see in yourself will not act to serve you in accepting yourself for who you really are. Be mindful of your inner voice as you go about your day, while you’re eating, and/or spending time with friends.
While this lesson could go on for quite some time, you may want to consider joining us for access to your well-being to keep learning about ways to improve your sense of welling.
Dr. Ines K. Roe has been helping women in transition rediscover themselves for over 20 years. If you’ve been feeling unfulfilled, are frustrated with your sense of accomplishment in midlife, or simply need guidance on your path to holistic well being, join her ecourse.