To be in harmony with the oneness of things is to be without anxiety about imperfection.
Zen Master Dogen (1200-1253)
I deeply and completely accept myself is a part of the standard EFT set up statement a little incantation with tapping that prepares the way for working on the presenting problem whatever it may be.
Many of my clients have a problem with that phrase, apart from the suspicion amongst some British people that it is excessively Californian, they feel a little uncomfortable saying it, almost as if saying I’m deeply and completely acceptable is a rather indecent.
I suspect that most of us have trouble with fully accepting ourselves just as we are. In fact, vast swathes of the economy are setup on the premise that if we buy this furniture, use this cosmetic, go on this diet, etc, that we will become OK. Preying on self-dissatisfaction seems to be a good way to make money.
Self dissatisfaction or self hate (if taken to the extreme) is quite pervasive in our culture. A few years ago the Dalai Lama met with psychologists and neuroscientists to discuss the overlap between science and Buddhist thought about our inner life.
“What do you think about self-hatred?” I asked when it was my turn to bring up an issue for discussion. I was eager to get directly to the suffering I had seen so often in my students, a suffering I was familiar with myself. The room went quiet as all of us awaited the answer of the Dalai Lama, revered leader of Tibetan Buddhism. Looking startled, he turned to his translator and asked pointedly in Tibetan again and again for an explanation. Finally, turning back to me, the Dalai Lama tilted his head, his eyes narrowed in confusion. “Self-hatred?” he repeated in English. “What is that?”
The thought that something is wrong with me is a pervasive kind of contemporary suffering and a driving force behind many problem behaviours.The EFT setup statement is designed to work away at our self-aversion with respect to the problem whatever it might be, by bringing a level of self acceptance to the issue.
An email newsletter from Steve Wells of EFT Down Under reminded me of this issue and sent me back to his original series of articles regarding self acceptance and his 30 day self-acceptance project. This inspired me to start working on this issue in my own life. These articles will cover some of the things I’ve tried out along the way.
By way of a starting exercise you might like to try saying out loud each of these statements and getting a sense of how true they feel on a scale of 0 to 10 (0 is totally false, 10 is totally true).
- I deeply and completely accept myself.
- I can’t accept myself
- I shouldn’t accept myself.
- There’s something wrong with me.
- I am ashamed of myself
If the first one scores 10 out of 10 and the rest are score 0 then you probably don’t need to read this series of articles. When I tried the ‘I deeply and completely accept myself’ test I scored 1!
This came as more than a bit of a shock to me, after all I’ve been using this phrase consistently for the last 4 years. If it’s something similar for you I hope these articles will help change that for you.