When we accept ourselves just as we are – strengths, weaknesses, accomplishments, failures – then we can embrace the truth and begin improving our lives. Without acceptance we often avoid the truth by blaming others or by engaging other unhealthy practices.
Modeling acceptance and self-forgiveness, and assisting our children in self-forgiveness, will help children learn how to hold themselves accountable and be responsible for their lives without getting mired in guilt and shame.
The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.
How does self-forgiveness or self-compassion compare with self-esteem? Kristin Neff addressed this last month in a TED talk. (watch video)