“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”- Thich Nhat Hanh
We have often heard and read about the importance of accepting others to attain peace of mind. I won’t be exaggerating if I say that ‘acceptance’ is the key to a calm and peaceful mind.
But when we talk about acceptance, we generally think in terms of others- accepting other people or things or situations. Seldom do we think about accepting ourselves the way we are.
Most of us either live with a superiority or inferiority complex. As the saying goes ‘The grass is always greener on the other side’, similarly others’ lives always seem better than ours.It seems that others are living the perfect happy lives with least botherations.
Do you accept yourself as you are or would you like to be someone else? If I have to answer this question, I’d say ‘Yes, I accept myself the way I am.’ Yes, my life is not perfect but then tell me whose life is perfect anyways?
Yes, I have many flaws but only if I accept myself, I would be able to work on improving myself and be a better person. I do have dreams and there used to be times when I used to regret certain things in my life and wished my life would have been different. But when I met & interacted with different people in various Art of Living courses, I realised that my life is way better than others. On the surface, a person may seem to be living a perfect life but you can never know how many scars he ‘s hiding beneath the surface.
If you’ve heard the story of Buddha & the fisherman, you’ll know how important acceptance is to be on spiritual path. The story goes like this:
There was a fisherman who came to Lord Buddha and requested him to allow him to live at his ashram. Buddha said that he may live in the ashram but according to the rule of the ashram, he must be first willing to accept everyone in this world. So the fisherman sat under a tree and meditated. He was able to accept everyone except two people. He went to Lord Buddha and told him that he just couldn’t accept two people who were always so rude to him. Lord Buddha looked at him with compassion and said, ” Just for you, I change the rule of my ashram. Don’t accept all the people in the world. Just accept these two and you can live in the ashram.”
You can pray & meditate for a hundred years but if you can’t accept others then it’s all in vain.
And how can you accept others if you can’t first accept yourself? As Allie Jensen so beautifully says, ” I am proud of my flaws and mistakes. They are the building blocks of my strengths and beauty.”
It doesn’t matter if others don’t find me beautiful or pretty. I am perfect in God’s eyes and that’s all that matters.
©2018 Shaloo Walia All rights reserved