Perhaps we've taken workshops or delved into self-help books in order to learn how to 'accept ourselves.' Maybe it helped. Maybe it didn't. Sometimes we merely learned new tricks as to how to fool ourselves and others. Too often we only learned how to put on a better show...all in hopes of appearing humble, gracious, generous, and understanding when saying things like "Oh, I hear you"..."I can relate to that"..."I know exactly where you are coming from." Sometimes we are so desperate to 'reach' one another. What we are really wanting is to be totally accepted for who we are. Sometimes it can be so difficult to believe that anyone could really love or accept us 'as is'...which can cause us to 'act like' what we hope will be acceptable to others. So they will like us, approve of us, and accept us. Then perhaps we could feel 'a part of something' that would make us feel better.One may encounter people who announce: "I don't care what anybody thinks, I'll say and do exactly as I please!" The amount defiance and tough demeanor is usually in direct proportion to the need to cover up what the person is really worried about: 'I'll reject you before you can reject me'...that type of thing. The opposite of this are people who constantly drape praise and admiration on others, agreeing with everything the other person says, in hopes of gaining their approval. People can become very adept and clever with their disguises. We all can. So much so that we can not only fool others, but ourselves. But!--only to a point. We all are familiar with that little restless feeling within us -- whispering to us -- telling us that we know when we are not really being true to ourselves.
When we are not being 'our real self' we can physically feel our bodies tensing up, and our emotions starting to do flip-flops....all happening in the presence of someone we think must approve of or admire us... When we are interacting with people with whom we could care less about... we are usually completely relaxed....
It can be a little amusing--our reactions to people from 'foreign countries' who most generally speak in a way we perceive of as being 'rude.' They are simply far too blunt and should take our feelings into consideration! Trouble is, we may have developed a strong (needy?) craving for smooth, fancy, double talk that lulls us into thinking that the person who is talking to us reeeeeally likes and approves of us. Its hard to admit that we like all the b-s'ing...and what it does for our ego. When we find ourselves easily offended we say its because "we are so sensitive'...ummmhmmm...right.
Hopefully, you know that I am not advocating speaking to or treating others without kindness and respect; it never, ever makes us feel good to be mean to others regardless of how much we think they deserve it! ... We all know that. If we think we might have a bit of a challenge in the area of being true to ourselves, it might prove to be a fun game to simply 'try it out' -- be true to oneself...to our own beliefs...to our intuition and gut feelings ... and just see where the chips land! Chances are we will gain in our own self-respect and find this mirrored in the attitudes of others towards us ... and...if they don't like it...well...maybe we need to rethink about the importance we have attached to a certain people's opinions? Right? Right!
Abraham says: You have got to get to the point where you don't give a FIG about what anybody else thinks! Or--as Shakespeare put it: "Above all else, to thine own self be true, for then, surely as the night follows day, thou cans't not be false to any man."