I’ve been been thinking through this paradox that seems to me to be found at the heart of the human condition. Through all the reading I do to the relationships I’m honored to participate in from day to day, the idea that we must, at the same time, accept and reject who we are resonates with me.
While I believe these are both to be done together, acceptance of oneself must come first. In the beginning we were created and we were good. Because we have been given the gift of life, we are children of our creator, created in the very image of the creator. All of us contain a divine spark, the very essence of the creator is hidden somewhere our being. Regardless of what we think, say or do, we cannot escape this condition of unending acceptance. As a perfect parent loves their child, no matter what the child does in his or her lifetime, the parent will always welcome the child home with joy. I think there is a parable somewhere in the New Testament that touches on this idea.
When we are able to accept ourselves as the Creator does, we then must awaken to acceptance our Creator bestows on all others. If, because I have life, the Creator accepts me, then the Creator accepts all others who I share this wonderful creation with. Because we are loved and we accept that love, we are then able to give love to others more freely.
The reason acceptance of oneself comes first is because this is the most difficult of the two. It’s incredibly difficult to rest in this acceptance while we are bombarded by images and messages throughout our experiences that tell us otherwise. Whether it’s not making enough money, not looking just right, not having enough twitter followers, it all points to our apparent insignificance.
The most common response to the rejection we feel from the world around us is to somehow fight back. We try to make more money, slim down, start poppin’ rogain, get a nice tan, and up our online stats. It may make us feel better in the short term but all we are doing is fighting a war that doesn’t really exist. We are feeding our ego, not our spirit. We are catering to the “false self” that truly is of no significance. Our ego is a mythical beast we so often can’t help but feed. But while we feed the beast, it feeds on us right back without us even realizing it. We die a slow, painful death while the ego is in charge.
But if we can find a way to truly rest in the Creator’s acceptance and love, the scales can then fall from our eyes and we can see that the war of the ego is a myth. This realization clears the way for us to reject our false selves without hesitation. The false self is the part of our being that is apart from the Creator’s image found in us. Our only value is found in the Creator’s acceptance of who we are and the only way we can truly reject ourselves is to accept ourselves.
Hopefully that made sense cause I’m too lazy to read it back to make sure it does. 🙂