Chaplain’s thoughts … Self-acceptance

We all have parts of us that we don’t like.

Whether it’s the way we communicate, look, talk, or think. The parts of us we do not like or appreciate are often met with denial rather than self-acceptance, much like Nasrudin — the protagonist of many Middle Eastern, Greek, and Russian folktales.

In one story of these folktales, Nasrudin was approaching the door of his house one night when he suddenly realized he had lost his key. He tried to look around for it, but the night was so dark he could hardly see the ground. So he got down on his hands and knees and examined the ground where he was standing; however, it was still too dark to see anything. Moving back toward a streetlamp, he again got down and began a meticulous examination of the area.

A friend came by and noticing him asked what he was doing. Nasrudin replied, “I lost my key and am looking for it.” So, the friend got down on his hands and knees and began to search as well. After a while the friend asked, “Do you remember where you might have lost the key?” “Certainly,” answered Nasrudin, “I lost it in my house.” “Then why are you looking for it out here?” asked the friend. “Because,” answered Nasrudin, “the light is so much better here.”

We are all much more like Nasrudin than we would like to acknowledge. Searching for the missing key of self-acceptance, but we tend to look for it outside of ourselves where it seems easiest to inspect. However, the key is inside, in the dark.

For example, we think if we spend our income on big vacations, expensive jewelry, or the newest technology we will finally be loved like we desire. Yet the key is inside, in the dark, where we can truly see ourselves as we are. Freud noted that the things about ourselves that we avoid will most tyrannize us. Self-acceptance does not increase the power of things that need to be eliminated, rather it weakens them. It robs them of the power they develop when they operate in our denial. Before we can move forward and encounter progress in our lives, relationships and work, we must accept who we are because we cannot give up what we do not possess.

If you’re feeling stuck and lost, know that you are not alone. It can be scary to see ourselves for who we really are right now. However, if you are afraid to make this journey alone, I want to encourage you to sit down with one of our chaplains. Regardless of your personal faith background or belief, our chapel team is here to support you. We are trained to help as you continue to grow into who you truly are.

As we make the journey to self-acceptance remember that we cannot give up what we do not possess. Before we can become ourself, we must accept ourself, just as we are.

For information about Luke AFB Chaplain Corps programs and events, “like” us on Facebook @ Luke AFB Chapel. Feeling like you need to talk? Give us a call at 623-856-6211.

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