Why the work we do on ourselves helps others too…
In her conclusion of the series, Tami Simon, the founder and publisher of Sounds True, eloquently describes the notion of projection (projection being an unconscious self-defence mechanism characterised by a person unconsciously attributing their own issues onto someone or something else) by going on to say that…
“the work we do to accept the unlovable parts of ourselves, to accept the actions that we take that we wish we hadn’t taken. That that work is not work that we’re just doing for ourselves alone. Not at all. It’s work we’re doing for the whole world and to quote Parker Palmer, he talked about how racism and homophobia and every form of scapegoating that we’ve ever known in the world, it comes actually from the part of people where they can’t accept themselves. ‘I have to scapegoat and put you down because you’re bringing forward something in me that I can’t stand to look at.’ So when we do this work of self-acceptance we’re actually liberating humans to be accepted for who they are. When we accept ourselves we can accept other people.”
I couldn’t agree more; to accept ourselves is to accept others. Looking back at when I went into a negative downward spiral at work I now realise that although my self-esteem remained intact, I fell far short of self-acceptance and compassion in light of the fact that I felt inwardly negative towards others. However, after reintegrating positivity into my life and researching self-acceptance and compassion, I am optimistic that I will achieve greater acceptance and compassion towards others by further developing my self-acceptance and compassion.
When we reach complete self-acceptance and compassion and truly learn to be our own best friend we will realise that although at times we may have done something wrong, as people we aren’t something wrong. We will be a source of support for ourselves, our own biggest cheerleaders. Finally, we will be able to face any situation with ‘unconditional confidence’, knowing that we can manage it and that, whatever happens, it won’t negatively impact upon how we see ourselves as people.
Now that’s the type of best friend I want to be for myself. We can all form this type of friendship with ourselves, we simply need to invest time and energy into developing the friendship, just like we would with any other best friend.
Come join me in the pursuit of becoming our own best friends and biggest cheerleaders and begin a friendship with yourself that will nurture and nourish you. A friendship that will be right there with you, even when you’re alone. A friendship that will always be loyal. A friendship that you can turn to wherever you are and whatever you’re going through. Let us become our own best friends and live in a state of harmony, both with ourselves and others. The most rewarding and important friendship you’ll ever have eagerly awaits you.
Watching the Sounds True Self-Acceptance Project Video Series was an enlightening experience that I will never forget. Each interview offered me new insights into self-acceptance and compassion, with each speaker being a leading authority in their field. If you would like to see the interviews I have referenced in this article or even watch all twenty-three videos you can do so at http://live.soundstrue.com/selfacceptance/. Signing up takes around thirty seconds, simply fill in your name and email address to have full lifetime access to all of the videos.
Now you’ve finished the series of this months hot topic of self-compassion, what have been the top strategies you have taken away and now want to implement? How do you think you will be more self-compassionate in future? What will you change? Please share your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you.
‘Already Free: Buddhism Meets Psychotherapy on the Path of Liberation’ by Tami Simon and Bruce Tift