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Accepting Ourselves


Being accepted is something that I think we all inherently yearn for. When we don’t feel accepted, we reach out for acceptance and try to find it by fitting in with others, by using drugs and alcohol, by acting out – the ways we try to fit in never end. At the end of the day, the only people who can really make us feel accepted and at peace with ourselves, are ourselves. How do we come to that point, where we feel like we’re good enough as we are – that we don’t have to prove anything to anyone?

Some say that it comes with age. Others argue that it comes with observance and self-awareness. Still others will say that it comes by turning our lives over to our perception of a higher power. Regardless of what fixes our damaged self-esteem, it is extremely important that we find a way to find that inner peace, because otherwise we will continually search for ways to feel complete.

Many people I know, myself included, have felt out of place in their own skin for a long time. This starts to manifest in thoughts such as “I don’t belong” or “Why don’t I fit in?” People become drifters, floating from group to group and never really developing close friends. This can continue into adulthood and creates an intense feeling of loneliness and desperation. After all, if you’ve never had a close friend, you’d begin to wonder if there’s anything wrong with you and reach to anyone you think will never leave.

This thought process led me and many of my friends straight into the life of drugs and criminal behavior. These so-called friends we met along the way never left and supposedly accepted us, but in reality they never cared to even know the real people we are. It is a vicious cycle that ends up creating even more self-loathing and loneliness, accompanied by the desire to block people out.

Who wants to be hurt time and time again?

At least, that was my thought process, but I can tell you that it got me nowhere fast. In order to move forward, we need to accept ourselves for who we are – imperfections and all.

Accepting who we are is easier said than done, but there are many ways we can go about doing it. Firstly, we have to be aware when we are being hard on ourselves and comparing who we are as individuals to other people’s exteriors. I always based my self-worth on comparing my body to someone who I thought was prettier than me. Only when we end this cycle of comparing, contrasting, and self-flagellation can we start to consciously remind ourselves that who we are is perfectly acceptable.

That isn’t to say that everything we do is right; rather, that we are essentially okay as people. The more aware we are, the more we can grow to accept ourselves. Sometimes, acceptance simply comes with age. The more experience we have, the more we realize that we have nothing to prove to the people around us as long as we are internally okay with the decisions that we make.

Higher power, heavenly father, God, Buddha, whatever we choose to call him or it – it’s a power that is greater than us, which we can turn our problems and triumphs over to. For some people, the ability to accept themselves as people comes from their ability to turn their lives over to their perceptions of a god. In short, whatever works to grow to accept yourself as a person is worth trying, because living a life without accepting and liking who you are is not a happy life.

Our culture is filled with things that tell us that we are not enough; that with this product, or if we looked like someone else, or if we hadn’t done this or that, we would be good enough. None of that is the truth. We are all okay as we are, and the only trouble is that we don’t see this truth. Many of us haven’t from the time we were children. No matter what methods we employ to accept and grow to love who we are as people, the only important thing is that we try to accept ourselves. That is the first step in living a happy life, and loving ourselves and others. 


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Written by

A native New Yorker, Bre loves the California scene and writing for Treatment4Addiction. She has been writing content for T4A for five months, and loves to learn new things, form opinions, and send them out to the world. Her interests include dance, singing, acting, talking with friends, being a daughter, and being the best big sister she can to her 16 year old brother. After attending ASU for a few months, she is interested in taking cosmetology classes and exploring her options. She looks forward to learning all she can, and doing something positive with that knowledge and experience.

Filed under: Life, Spirituality · Tags: Acceptance, friendship, God, happiness, higher power, self-acceptance, self-love is operated by Recovery Brands LLC, a subsidiary of American Addiction Centers, Inc.
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