Acceptance is an interesting subject. It can liberate but it can hold us back. Where is the line between lovingly accepting ourselves ..opposed to gracefully being ok with not accepting ourselves, in order to make space for transformation and growth?
I am guilty of using self-acceptance to hide away(spiritually bypass) from the self work that I must do. Who else is guilty of that? And of course we are. The spiritual community pushes self acceptance down our throat. But there is obviously a confusion. As with all spiritual truths. Acceptance is beautiful, and can take us very far. But I believe there is a threshold. How far can we go accepting our darker sides, but not willing to shift them? Sometimes we think that acceptance is the shift, because when we accept something about ourselves that we have always dismissed or judged, it is so liberating, but not the end of the work.
There is a fine line between acceptance and contentment. How long will we stay content with the person we are? How long will we accept who we are at this moment? See where I am going with this. If there is no room for discontentment, no room for judgement towards ourself, how would we grow?
I am not saying that we should always be judging ourselves. Not at all. I am saying to be aware of when it does come up, and know that a bandaid (acceptance) can help, but will not get to the root. Here is a quote on this topic, by a very powerful woman that sums this up very wisely:
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”~ Anais Nin
Reading the quote above makes me think "why accept being a BUD when you know deep down you are a blossom?" It may be uncomfortable to emerge into a blossom, but the discomfort outweighs the pain to stay the same, ten fold.
What is really comes down to is banishing the belief that judgement is "bad" in order replace it with the belief that it too, has a purpose. Allowing nurturing and compassion towards ourself during times of exploring self-judgment will help us get the most out this work. Good luck!