This may be highly disappointing or confusing at first glance but bear with me. The work of Tara Brach, a clinical psychologist and Buddhist, was one of my first introductions to the psychology of shame, acceptance and mindfulness. In her lectures on Radical Self-Acceptance, she talks about our culture of self-improvement and how these good intentions often just feed our belief that we are not good enough. Furthermore, this desire to always be better often comes from a place of insatiable unworthiness in which we are striving to reach an ever-shifting standard. So this is not a self-improvement blog but rather a self-acceptance blog. Our objective is to allow and open up to our experience in a loving way, to get off the hamster wheel of self-improvement and stop bombarding ourselves with messages that we are not enough. For me and for many of you, this approach to ourselves and our lives will be a change and perhaps you will feel that your life is improved by much of this work. However, we must keep the spirit of acceptance at the heart of our process. The changes that occur as a consequence of pulling back the veil of shame from our lives is fundamentally different than striving to be some “more acceptable” version of ourselves.
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