It took me 30 years or so to come to a place of self acceptance. I’ve done things I’m not proud of. I’ve fallen short of the grandiose expectations that my inner child set for myself. I have judgements on myself and others even if I wish I didn’t. My inner critic doesn’t take many days off and has a mean left hook. Accepting myself just as I am, “flaws” and all took major inner work and can be hit or miss more than I’d like to admit, especially if I go too hard and find myself running on fumes.
It felt like a major revelation to get to the point of “radical self acceptance” - meaning accepting all the parts of myself, even the strange or nasty aspects. Only recently did I notice that there is a significant gap between self acceptance and self love.
I own a condo in LA within an older building that has something like 90 units. There are integrated trash shoots which leads to problems with roaches in the building overall. These pests end up in my kitchen at night despite our best efforts to fight them off. I have come to a certain level of acceptance that until we move, these roaches are like roommates that you can’t get rid of. My wife is NOT on the same level of acceptance...
Here comes the distinction- I accept the roaches, I do not love them. I would be pleased if they would get out of my otherwise pretty dope LA pad.
As so within myself. There are parts of myself that I do indeed accept, but in my heart of hearts I would be pleased if they were different. As I see it, that is the difference between self acceptance and self love. Self acceptance is the first step. Self love is taking self acceptance to the next level. The secret sauce is compassion.