The Paradox of Change

The turn of the calendar marking a new year brings about the question of change as we look around and hopefully also inward, considering how things are and how we’d like things to be different. With notions of resolutions and change at the forefront, we can breathe in some relief with the reminder that real change is built not on a rejection of ourselves, but instead on a whole and boundless self-acceptance. 

Self-acceptance as the foundation of change need not be confused with inaction in areas of our lives that are asking for our attention. The paradox of change is that it is fulfilled through self-acceptance rather than self-rejection so that our actions are informed by love for who we are as we are, rather than by feelings of self-deficiency. Self-acceptance as an orientation toward change leads us to the kind of change that is real and sustainable- it’s the kind that takes place incrementally, slowly, deeply, and meaningfully. Real change through self-acceptance takes place as a revolution in a world pushing life-hacks, quick-fixes, and the shallow, dulling pleasures of superficiality.  

Oriented in self-acceptance, we have an ever-available compass right within ourselves for directing our choices. It’s a compass that guides us to choose compassionately for ourselves- which sometimes means uncomfortably- and one that has our own genuine interests, desires, and longings as true north. Self-acceptance is fittingly shaped as most other pieces of timeless wisdom- the simplest thing that tends to be the hardest thing, and therefore a practice and a learning, again and again.

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