From the moment we come into this world, our wellbeing is shaped by our experiences. But, how do we get through that? Martina Advaney explores...
I’ve made many mistakes in the past and certainly will make more. So long as I make new mistakes and not repeat the old ones, it’s fine. The most important relationship we have is with ourselves.
While it is important to go on developing a good, healthy self-esteem it’s even more paramount to accept ourselves with all our flaws that cannot be reformed and also to absolve ourselves of our mistakes and move on.
It’s a natural consequence of self-acceptance that we develop self-empathy and indeed, self-esteem. According to research, it’s usually between the age of 8 and 16 that most of us form that sense of who we are and go on expanding on our personality all through life.
If our parents were more accepting of us as well as our behaviour, we flourish and accept ourselves better. Faced with critical or controlling parents some of us naturally find that we castigate ourselves well into later life. Thankfully, a vast majority ‘grow up’ and go on to live life.
Now here is an issue. If we do not accept ourselves how are we going to be accepting of others, their behaviour and know about their ideas, thoughts and values?
Those of us who wish we were smarter, richer, wiser, better looking and whatever else go on finding it difficult to accept others and in the process go on missing out a lot in life.
But must this go on? Certainly not. Anytime is a good time to get that grip on ourselves.
All said and done, subtle to blatant emotional abuse at the hands of parents is faced by many and most are able to shrug it off or work through it once they form their own personality.
Unquestionably, values and the core beliefs that we carry within ourselves once we’ve come into our own help us feel more grounded.
These values and beliefs also remain with us as our guiding force. Many of us further enlarge those values after encountering inspirational people we meet once in a while when we get lucky.
This is possible, so long as we are not held back by tunnel vision.
Into The Light
To think about it, it is empathy which is why there is so much acceptance of diversity, cultural differences, generational differences and even personal differences among people.
We all have a natural tendency to move towards or even be strongly attracted to those who share our thoughts and values.
At the same time, there is also much to learn from those who think differently from us and all the psychological diversity that is out there.
So long as we are unafraid of the unfamiliar, life and people go on offering gifts with each passing day.
Listening to others, accepting others and very often trying to understand them does not mean we always agree with them.
One of the best ways to participate in a conversation appears to be to listen and whenever we turn fortunate there might be some pearls of wisdom to pick up.
Similarly, we ourselves may have interesting ideas to offer based on our own experiences.
We are all work in progress. As long as it’s progress, bring it on.
As you’re here, why not read this?
All your donations will be used to pay the magazine’s journalists and to support the ongoing costs of maintaining the site.