Self Acceptance is the Best Policy
I opened my email recently and found a notice for a workshop entitled Create Harmony in your Family and Community, which is taking place at the Hollies Centre for Practical Sustainability in Enniskeane, Cork next Saturday 21st December. It made me realize there is a great deal of expectation at Christmas time, where adults are often annoyed with their children and vice versa. Old wounds are revisited especially if you have those large family gathering where people are making a special effort to come from out of town or fitting you into an already busy schedule. I have witnessed what happens when people who are already stressed meet up with that relative who pushes their buttons and then seen them revert to childhood. It’s like watching a cracked record play out the same sad song of bickering and feuding.
One has to ask the question why people put themselves through the same old same old every year. Perhaps they expect the other people will have changed or this time round will be different. Or maybe they just feel some sort of responsibility to a higher power or don’t want to end up on their own for Christmas. Whatever the reason, my own feeling on it is that a lot of the animosity and anxiety is caused by putting on appearances and trying to have everything run smooth. Seldom do things run smooth unless you come from a family well-versed in the art of keeping the skeletons locked in the closet and looking pretty until that last glass of wine brings it all to a head.
Anyway, cutting to the chase, I wonder if we can’t just accept that a) our expectations are seldom met and more importantly b) the world is not a place of neatness, it’s in constant flux and nature does not do neat. So you are far better off to find some sort of inner calm and stability that comes from accepting yourself warts and all. So this Christmas we could all do well to reflect on the words of this anonymous prayer from the Native American Tradition. Happy Holidays, Everyone!
Daily Acceptance Prayer
I accept myself completely.
I accept my strengths and my weaknesses,
my gifts and my shortcomings,
my good points and my faults.
I accept myself completely as a human being.
I accept that I am here to learn and grow, and
I accept that I am learning and growing.
I accept the personality I’ve developed, and
I accept my power to heal and change.
I accept myself without condition or reservation.
I accept that the core of my being is goodness and
that my essence is love, and
I accept that I sometimes forget that.
I accept myself completely, and in this acceptance
I find an ever-deepening inner strength.
From this place of strength, I accept my life fully and
I open to the lessons it offers me today.
I accept that within my mind are both fear and love, and
I accept my power to choose which
I will experience as real.
I recognize that I experience only the results
of my own choices.
I accept the times that I choose fear
as part of my learning and healing process, and
I accept that I have the potential and power
in any moment to choose love instead.
I accept mistakes as a part of growth,
so I am always willing to forgive myself and
give myself another chance.
I accept that my life is the expression of my thought, and
I commit myself to aligning my thoughts
more and more each day with the Thought of Love.
I accept that I am an expression of this Love.
Love’s hands and voice and heart on earth.
I accept my own life as a blessing and a gift.
My heart is open to receive, and I am deeply grateful.
May I always share the gifts that I receive
fully, freely, and with joy.