“Self-Acceptance and Change”

by Dr. Susan Nettleton

Self-change often begins with self-acceptance. True self-acceptance means that we have our peace with how we are similar to others and how we are different. We recognize that there are patterns to our life and we accept those patterns as an expression of our selfhood. Our patterns of thought, feeling and behavior, our responses to life events shape our experience and create new events. Sooner or later, we accept the fact that if we want our lives to change, our patterns must change. Sometimes we consciously choose to embark on a new way. This decision comes from within the self, as a deeper sense of who we are chooses to express in a new way. But sometimes we see that there is no way we can, by ourselves, change a pattern. We simply can't find a part of ourselves that is strong enough, decisive enough, free enough, to overrule the old. The pattern is us. Self-acceptance at this frustrating point can suddenly shift our idea of who we really are, open up the Spiritual dimension, and free us to change.