There is a paradox to healing and transformation.
The paradox is that to heal and transform, we must start with acceptance of ourselves exactly as we are.
Change requires reverent self-acceptance.
Why is this?
Think about this for a moment. If you are caught up in self-condemnation, then you are filled with the negative energies of shame and self-hatred. You may want to punish yourself when what you really need is love to heal and grow. You feel discouraged, depressed, and hopeless, when what you need is hope, joy and inspiration.
Self-hatred poisons healing and growth.
Instead, practice radical reverence for yourself exactly as you are, with all your flaws and shortcomings. Your reference for Reality includes reverence for yourself. Remember, you and the Universe are one. You are exactly as you must and can only be at this moment. You are the Universe aware of Itself. You are sacred.
With reverent self-acceptance, you can look freely at the whole of you with love. Your love will heal and transform you. Remember, your work is not to become a better person; it is to suffer less and to tap into the innate joy of existence. A rose does not hate itself because of its thorns; it is content to be a rose. So should you also be content to be who you are.
Then, with reverence, you can look carefully and freely at the workings of your mind and at your behavior. Do your thoughts, drives, and behaviors bring suffering or joy? Enhance your awareness with reverent, fierce inquiry. Seeing the truth of things will trigger a natural reprogramming of mind—a natural healing. The grace of awareness will heal you. Your acceptance and awareness will also enable you to take loving accountability for your behavior. You will gradually transform into a more skillful, loving, humble harmonizer with all that is. You will at last experience peace and joy.
Be kind to your mind. Remember it is just doing the best it knows how to do to keep you safe and comfortable. See it as just needing a reprogramming tune up through the forces of Awareness and Intention.
Practice an attitude of reverence for everything, including yourself. Look at yourself in the mirror every morning and say out loud, “I love you.” Say it like you mean it. It will be awkward at first, but will become more comfortable with repetition. Then carry this reverence attitude with you throughout the day as you watch the workings of your mind. Your practice of reverent self-acceptance will help to heal you.