by Lisa Renee
Before people start to consider how self-acceptance plays a key role in the development of one’s personal character, many have forgotten that building character through having a better comprehension of one’s own self-esteem is indeed one of the most important aspects of personality development and spiritual development. Through gaining self acceptance, we build healthy self-esteem and this supports us to make realistic goals with higher spiritual purpose, to cultivate virtues, which are strengths of character and the power of our spiritual person. In order to progress through the ascension process, strengthening ourselves to grow into well balanced and healthy functioning people, we will need to address areas of our self-acceptance and ability to access states of forgiveness. Finding genuine self-acceptance and the ability to feel and generate actions of forgiveness towards the self and others are important to progress beyond emotional stagnation. Both are deeply entwined with each other in developing a stronger base of self-esteem and inner core. To go beyond personal issues of low self-worth, we are required to build our inner foundation which will progress us further to develop stronger character virtues. Character virtues such as embodying the spirits of purity, kindness, patience, diligence, discipline, generosity all of which require great personal strength to help develop our character. It is the strength of character which allows us to more easily endure life’s challenges and deal with stressors in productive and peaceful ways. As we develop strength in our character, the virtues are powerful energetic forces which bring great harmony in one's life, filling it with great peace, comfort and joy.
However, generally what is misunderstood is that virtues appear as weakness to many people, when they are actually great strengths in spiritual forces of power. It is much easier to live with character defects blaming others for all our problems in our life. This creates great weakness in our energetic foundation and our prayer focus and meditation strength. It takes great courage and strength to really be honest, face ourselves and be willing to do the inner emotional work. When we have reached a degree of spiritual maturity and we are willing to do our own emotional work, we are extremely rewarded later on the spiritual path with an incredible amount of spiritual power, strength and focus. It is the strength of one’s inner foundation and character which far supersedes the ego weaknesses of instant gratification. This strengthening of one’s internal character allows one to more easily cope with the many challenges and stressors in our everyday life on planet earth. When we are stronger spiritual people, and we have a strong internal core, this builds our relating skills through building inner confidence without ego arrogance. It improves our ability to better communicate with a variety of kinds of people, whether they are on the ascension path or not. A person with a strong core does not need others to be something they are not, and does not take on others pain, their ego suffering and desperate actions as personal affronts or insults. At this level of awareness, we can see people are in pain when they lash out or play out emotional tantrums. Thus, we refuse to play the archetypes of drama which energetically feed into that same pain.
As much as many people may not want to admit it, a stronger inner core foundation can be established with how a person builds character, especially when self-worth is a primary factor in shaping and molding the values and virtues of a balanced individual. Without a strong core developed with healthy self-acceptance and self-esteem , personal goals and spiritual goals are directly impacted leaving one feeling confused and chaotic about their life circumstances. In the swirling chaos a person without a strong core cannot read what is truth and what is deception.
On the spiritual ascension pathway, recognizing the importance of character building as a necessary part of having self-love and self-acceptance is critical to progress through self-deception ego blocks. Self-deception blocks are levels of ego denial, the half-truths we tell ourselves because we are really afraid to see all of the picture that currently blocks our awareness. When we have low self-esteem, our ego defense mechanisms will act to block our progress moving forward in our spiritual ascension and evolving in our life.
One who understands they are a loved and worthy spiritual vessel for the spirit of God Source, will begin to learn that self-love is at the core of self-acceptance which is the quality one must build to truly feel and experience God's love for all of us. Once we feel love for ourselves we build inner confidence which further builds our trust with the process of life. In these chaotic times, it is very important to build trust in our communications and relationship with our higher power to help us navigate the challenges we find now in earthy life.
A person who is more confident about himself, feels more stable in their spiritual foundation and will be more focused and determined to achieve a better state of consciousness with all of life, regardless of whether it is for career, spiritual purpose, inspiration, family or personal goals. A peaceful and fulfilling life is most possible when one seeks inner truth and self-knowledge while building a relationship with God and the relationship to the self. When building the relationship with the self it may mean we are taken through character building life experiences that we do not prefer. We must push through our fears that live in the Houses of Ego in order to experience the accomplishment of moving past our perceived mental limitations and negative ego habits. If our mental limitations and/or self-entitlement govern our actions, we will become stunted in our emotional-spiritual growth and fall into symptoms of low self-esteem.
To Forgive Others is Forgiving the Self
To forgive another person or circumstances is the most generous thing one can do for yourself. When we forgive others for perceived transgressions it frees us from the bonds, entanglements and cords which manifest painful patterns such as judgments, resentments, and anger.
Forgiving yourself is the most important action one can take to clearing self-sabotaging bonds of victimhood and their painful wounds from past, present and future.
A forgiveness technique is to practice self-acceptance. NO person needs forgiveness for just being who they are. The practice of forgiving yourself is about targeting the specific things that make one feel bad about themselves, the things that make one feel inadequate or unworthy and not about the truth of the real person that you are. As a forgiveness technique, self-acceptance allows one to acknowledge that you are a good person, with faults and all. This does not mean that one ignores the faults or stops making genuine attempts to improve oneself, but it does mean that one values themselves above ALL of those elements. When one recognizes self-worth by acknowledging ones whole self, then the personal power is generated to stop allowing these faults to be used as weaknesses and continually halt ones progression and evolution throughout life. Love yourself unconditionally and give yourself permission to heal with the necessary time it takes to do so.
Understanding the importance of forgiveness is that it brings you to the current state of now, rather than dwelling on past hurts and pain. Forgiveness allows one to live in the present instead of the past, which means that one can move into the future with a renewed sense of purpose focused on change, improvement, and building on current experiences, rather than being held back by past pain. Some people are afraid to forgive themselves because they fear losing their sense of self that has been built on the foundation of anger, resentment, blame and vulnerability. In this case, one may ask themselves if feeling victimized and angry, being the easily hurt and reactive person is the identity you want to show the world and live with as your image. Is the familiarity of being in the victim or victimizer role, or the perceived ego security of this mode of thinking, actually worth the energy, effort and harm it is causing you?
Without the ability to forgive and accept circumstances, in relationship to the self and others, not only does one allow themselves to remain stuck in the past, but this takes a huge energetic drain on your emotional and physical health. Inability to forgive is sourced from anger and resentment, two emotions that can wreak havoc with your health and keep one stagnated. Always remember that forgiving does not equate with forgetting. Each painful or negative experience can be shifted into the context of learning and self-mastery and one can be guided into higher wisdom through that experience. It's about ending the cycles of resentment, bitterness and self-inflicted berating that comes with remembering the painful issues of the past.
There is a frequent misunderstanding that forgiveness equates to forgetting or condoning the actions of the past. This misunderstanding can lead a person to feel that it is not right to forgive oneself because in the process of doing so, it's akin to an act of forgetting or condoning the past wrong. If this is the factor that is preventing you from forgiving yourself, keep in mind that forgiveness is a process of mindfulness in which one continues to remember what happened and not condoning something that was "wrong" as suddenly made "right". It's perfectly fine to say: "I am not proud of what I've done (or how I've devalued myself) but I'm moving on for the sake of my health, my well-being, and those around me." Affirming this is spiritually healthy and allows one to break the cycle of self-harm that one has fallen into because of openly acknowledging what was faulty and the intention to improve and strengthen ones character from now on. By staying true to oneself, this action builds self-esteem, through the esteeming acts one is committed to make towards loving oneself.
To better understand and define self–esteem, it is simply holding oneself in high regard as a result of many factors that determine worth as the unique person that you are. It is easy to remember you are loved unconditionally by God source and to meditate with the intention to flow the grace of unconditional loving kindness to your own heart to feel self-love.
With self-love and healthy self-acceptance one can build self-esteem.
Self- esteem does not require regarding one self’s behaviors as always perfect nor does it demand from a person to be faultless or blameless, rather, it is placing value on the entire self as priceless, worthy and unique.
Positive human development is based on healthy self-acceptance and self-esteem. This is a gift we must learn to give to ourselves, especially if we were the victims of great abuse and childhood trauma.
The Mirror Exercise is probably the most powerful self-acceptance tool and self-healing exercise that you can ever do - and the simplest.
The Mirror Exercise: Simple Instructions
This exercise will achieve the maximum benefit if repeated at the same time every day for a period of about 10 to 15 minutes. The most beneficial times are first thing on getting up in the morning and last thing before going to bed at night. If these times are impossible, then you can set aside two other times for you when you will not be disturbed. You will require a full length mirror with a space in front of it so that you can stand fully naked in front of the mirror and be able to see the whole of your body.
The room should be of a comfortable temperature so that you are neither too hot nor too cold.
In standing in front of the mirror, place your feet "shoulder width" apart so that, if you were to draw a line straight down to the floor from the outside edge of your shoulders this line will touch the outside of your foot. Allow your weight to be evenly distributed on each foot. Spend a few moments taking in the whole of the reflection of you, and then focus your attention on a point on your forehead, exactly between your eyes and about 2 cm or 1 in above the line of your eyes.
During the whole of this exercise, the mantra which you should repeat to yourself (out aloud so that your body hears your voice) is "I accept myself, in this moment, just the way I am".
I have written this "mantra" in English, but you will gain a greater benefit if you translate it into your "native" language - and if your mother spoke another language or dialect when you were in her womb, the use of this translation will also be beneficial.
During the whole of the exercise, place your hands, palms pushed together in front of you. As you initially do this, feel the pressure on your palms, up through your arms, across your shoulders, back and chest. This is the pressure between left and right, male and female, past and future.
Somewhere in the center, you will (with practice) find a space of "no pressure" - this is the center of your being and it will be somewhere in the middle of your body in a direct line with your visual focus on your forehead.
During the whole of the period, you should "imagine" that on one breath cycle, you are breathing in through the top of your head and filling your center then breathing out through the soles of your feet.
The next breath cycle is the reverse - in through the soles of the feet to your center and out through the top of the head.
As you breathe, allow your sense of hearing to focus on the sound the breath makes as it moves through your body.
During the breathing, allow the out-breath to release any thoughts, impressions and feelings that may arise - using the in-breath to "fill" the empty space created by the release of the thought.
With practice, you should be able to find a gap between the in-breath out-breath in-breath and you may find that you "drop" into it. You cannot create this "gap".
Comment: It may be necessary to practice this exercise a few times before it happens by itself and all of the stages "fall" into place. Do not look for any outcome - just practice for the practice and, after a certain time of releasing all of your discomfort, the practice will "do you". When it does this, you will know and the experience will be yours alone. Please Note: If you consciously use this exercise to involve another person for ANY reason, the probable outcome is that you will immediately take on every subconscious and unconscious dis-ease that the other person may be afflicted with. This mirror exercise is between yourself and your own naked reflection.
(Adapted source partially from Building Self Esteem, Wiki How: Forgiveness, Thank you for Mirror Exercise is from http://www.anunda.com/support/mirror.htm)