Although I didn’t know it at the time, this turned out to be the last of these seminars. I thought I might do a few more, but the way this one ended was the perfect way to round off a series of talks, blogs, and videos which cover so much of what personal development work is all about. The topic itself is also a suitable way to finish: see yourself clearly, acknowledge your beauty and power, and celebrate your uniqueness; whilst all the time knowing that, paradoxically, you are also one with everyone and everything else in existence.
Celebrating our uniqueness begins with an acceptance of ourselves. Acceptance brings relief from resistance. It can be tough at first because we are not going to like everything we see; but much in the same way as removing a splinter can initially increase our pain before alleviating it, the same guarantee of peace and well-being awaits us if we accept ourselves as we are. Importantly, acceptance does not mean we do nothing. It is not a passive compliance with who we are, but a prerequisite for self-improvement. We can only really tackle something if we know what it is. Encouragingly, acceptance also fosters an appreciation of our many qualities, which is where the celebration begins.
It is worth knowing, however, that there are other obstacles in our way; comparisons and inverted arrogance being two of them. Comparing ourselves with others is never wise. Here is an extract from the post ‘The Mind’ (p.59) which sheds some light on this:
‘It’s pointless drawing comparisons with anyone else. I have enough work to do balancing my own life without worrying about others. To travel this path effectively I must know who I am as best I can. That’s not easy. It’s a struggle to find myself. It is a life’s work to discover the real me, so how can I possibly assume that I can work other people out? How can I think I can encapsulate all the complications of another human being just from a brief glance or a short conversation… or even a long-lasting friendship? I cannot. So there’s no point in trying. The only comparisons I can make are with myself: How I was yesterday? How I was last week? How I was five years ago? [‘Measurable Results‘ p.22] These comparisons will show me how far I have come and encourage me to continue. They are empowering. Any other comparisons are a complete waste of time and energy.’
Inverted arrogance – putting ourselves down – is also a waste of time. If we are assessing ourselves and providing a critique of our shortfalls, then okay, but self-deprecation is often misplaced or manipulative. Or both. Here is an example of mine and how I dealt with it by reassuring myself: ‘Navigating Our Way’ (p.24). You can reassure yourself out loud, too. Your actual voice is incredibly adept at overpowering the little voices in your head; the voices which sometimes try to convince you you’re not good enough. Try it.
The final question of the seminar came ten minute before the end. It was a powerful one and elicited a response which somehow summarised the essence of this entire series. That summary can be seen in the video below (from 16:18), but to summarise this seminar: Accept who you are. If there’s stuff you want to change, change it, but don’t compare yourself to others because you can never fully know their story. Be inspired by others, but only compare yourself to where you’ve been. That way you can see your progress. Talk to yourself, too. Remind yourself of your deepest glory. And then celebrate yourself completely.
00:59 – Accept who you are
03:39 – Appreciate who you are
05:17 – Talk to yourself
06:52 – Inverted arrogance
13:00 – Comparisons are pointless
14:41 – There is a depth to all of us which is more worthy of our focus
16:18 – Q: ‘What is the biggest lesson people need to learn?’
Related posts: Not As Good As I Think I Am | Accept Who & Where I Am | Acceptance & Permission | I Just Need To See It | The Mind | Stop the Comparisons | Relax & Lighten Up | We Are All Unique | Navigating Our Way | Measurable Results | A Reality Check | Stimulate Positivity