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“The first step toward change is self-awareness.  The second step is acceptance” is an apt quote by Nathaniel Brandon, a psychotherapist known for his work in the psychology of self-esteem. In my last blog, I mentioned the premise that we need to we accept our weaknesses as well as our strengths. Only then, we can accept the same in others, and feel compassion and forgiveness for others as well as ourselves.

Few of us are expert at expressing love for others, or in accepting their love toward us. But we can learn, and the joy is in the learning. Every form of love comes to us as a gift.  That gift may be humble, or extended to us in an awkward way, but that doesn’t diminish its value. If we accept the gift of love with grace and gratitude, we acknowledge its importance for the giver and for us. The art of giving and receiving love with gratitude enhances the meaning of life.  Acceptance of love, and those with whom we share it, is more rewarding than criticizing others for their presumed lack in satisfying our needs. While others may try without success to make us happy with their love, this is an inside job. We’re responsible for our own happiness. Besides, when we begin to take the gift of love for granted, we may lose it.

 I love this quote by Eckhart Tolle, who wrote, “Acceptance looks like a passive state, but in reality it brings something entirely new into the world. That peace, a subtle energy vibration, is consciousness.” There’s a very fine line between a passive form of acceptance and indifference or apathy. It’s entirely different to actively accept love and compassion from others—whatever the mode of expression—with our love, open-mindedness, and gratitude. We’re actually moving toward a higher consciousness as we expand our acceptance to include our oneness with the universe.

 Research has shown we are each sources or towers of energy with a signature energy level determined by our frequency of vibrations.  Further, evidence indicates that higher consciousness or acceptance manifests higher vibrations than lower forms of awareness. Our level of acceptance includes our acceptance of self.  Self- confidence at least in part determines our level of energy and in turn can create a higher frequency of vibrations. Confidence is key to our credibility and in turn, determines our value to others. IIyania Vanzant makes this astute observation: “Your life is a reflection of what you believe about yourself. We cannot outperform our level of self-esteem. We cannot draw to ourselves more than we think we are worth.”

A concept that’s establishing scientific validity is  the law of attraction, based on the premise that like attracts like: Our universe is one big magnetic field in which like or similar energy vibrations are attracted to one another.  From this we can reason that our energy waves attract similar waves from other people: as a result, our level of consciousness determines the level of or consciousness—or energy— in those we attract.  This means that as we grow and evolve, we ‘re able to attract more like-minded people with minds open to new ideas, high ideals, and intangible concepts like love.

Mary Kathryn “M.K.” Jones