Why You Need to Accept Yourself Before You Can Change

You can only change what you see, what you are aware of, what you acknowledge and embrace

You walk into the therapy room filled with hope that the hurt is finally going to end. You open up your vulnerability, your secrets to the one and only person you think can help at that time. It’s hard, but at least initially it seems it’s working.

And then you stumble. You slip right off the edge. Into darkness and despair.

When only myself and my client exist in the moment of total focus, a question of total misery sometimes comes up “Why does this hurt so much?” When you look for therapy, counselling, personal growth you want relief. You want to stop hurting.

We need release from the chains of the past. These are the chains that cause pain in our present. And they deprive us of our future.

That’s why we seek help. And, while the aim of psychotherapy or counselling is to get to a better, calmer and more fulfilling place, the release of harmful patterns is still painful. These are the patterns that got us to where we are today. Which is why, it often gets worse before it gets better.

It’s not so much about opening up your vulnerability and showing your real self to the other person—the therapist. The hard thing is to open ourselves up to ourselves.

We are our worst judges.

We will not want to reveal our most intimate secrets and fears to ourselves alone; to the one and only person we’ve most been keeping them away from. If we do, we admit the flaw.

Getting to know yourself can be a painful experience. We live in our own perceptions, often bordering on delusions. The masks we put up to othersto friends, coworkers, public, societythese are the masks we also put up to ourselves. Masks that guard us from reality. The reality we perceive as painful. Taking it off is not easy.

Some will not want to take their heads out of the sand and will rather leave therapy to avoid it.

But you can hardly grow and change before you know what it is you are in fact changing; before you acknowledge it as reality that you want to change. You need to accept yourself with all the flaws before you can do something about them.

You will never be able to change what you don’t see, what you don’t admit, what you are looking away from, what you despise and deny.

It seems weird, contradictory, illogicalthe fact that the first change you make is the change in accepting yourself despite change.

Accepting yourself with all the flaws you want to get rid of. The first change you actually make is the change in your self-acceptance. You can only then start changing what you don’t like but accept in spite of that.