We are never the person we were a couple of years ago or even a couple of days ago. I used to be a complete different person in my past as well, so did you and everyone else in the world. Change is the only constant in life. We all have made our fair share of mistakes in life, I have made plenty of them too. But when I look back, I realize that the real problem was not that I used to make mistakes but that I used to fear making them, consequently letting the fear control and overpower me and my decisions.
Back in my past, as I have realized it now, I was scared of my flaws and imperfections; I thought they made me less worthy of love and acceptance from the world. I was fearful of people’s opinion about me: what if someone thinks I am a bad person? I used to think that this world has not accepted me and will never do; little did I know that for feeling like the world accepts me for who I am, I had to accept myself first. And that very feeling of not being worthy of acceptance was the root cause of all my problems, fears and insecurities. Well, I still do make mistakes but now I am okay with them now that I have learned the phenomenal magic of acceptance and the fact that nobody is perfect.
No I didn’t suddenly wake up one day and decided that from this day onwards, I am going to accept myself, it was a slow process. In this process, I have started embracing my flaws and imperfections; I have started learning from them. And ultimately, I have started growing. And it’s surprising how my entire life has changed just because I respected myself enough and accepted me for who I am. Now that I have accepted myself the way I am; with all my flaws and imperfections, I can say that the first step to solve world’s toughest of problems is acceptance, and it all starts with self-acceptance and self-realization.
I have discovered that only when I accepted myself, I was able to accept the rest of the world for simply what it is. Accepting myself has made me accept imperfections and flaws in people around me without any judgment. I can now see that everyone has their own kind of beauty and everyone has their own perfect shades of perfections and imperfections.
Just like me, most people encounter issues of not being able to accept themselves. And these issues can sometimes come off as a trouble for them as well as for the people around them. I have often wondered how do people who cannot accept themselves for who they are accept their loved ones and the people around them for who they are? And the ground breaking answer to this question is that we, humans are in so many ways harsh with ourselves, we forget to treat and think of ourselves just like we think of people we love the most; aren’t we the person we should be loving the most as well?
Over the years, with each passing day, I have realized the ever so phenomenal power of acceptance. Let me tell you something my friend, acceptance is something that we not only need in our lives but also in the world around us. Yes, acceptance is all that we need in our society to end decades long of discriminations, conflicts and wars. Acceptance is all that we need to love the ones who seem to look a little hard to love for the rest of the world. And most importantly, acceptance is all that those forgotten and ignored victims of crimes like rape and acid attack survivors need to restart their lives because we seldom realize that when we treat them differently, they tend to blame themselves for the wrong that happened to them. Our sympathy and comforting words might help them feel better for a while but what everyone needs in the long run is acceptance.
By accepting them the way they are and recognizing that they have been wronged, we won’t be doing them any favor but we will be proving that we are just being good human beings who love and respect people regardless of their exteriors and the unfortunate situation they are in or have been through.
Acceptance begins with us. Let us all first accept ourselves for who we are, let ourselves be and validate what we are feeling and then we will be ready to embrace people and the world around us. Let’s love and respect everyone beyond reasons and regardless of anything and everything. Most of all, let’s be the change that we wish to see in the world. Happy Acceptance!
-Suraj Raj Keshari