How to Accept Your Own Goodness

Acceptance requires sincerity and depth of consideration. SINCERELY consider the following, and you will be blessed with insight that will do you good.

Acceptance is how beliefs happen. A belief is born only at the moment when someone accepts something to be true. If you said to somebody, "There's a million dollars buried in the floor of that cabin," they would believe that only if they accepted your statement to be true. But if they didn't accept what you said, they wouldn't believe it.

How is acceptance achieved? By means of sincerity and integrity. But so few people spend any time sincerely considering whether or not something is true. They'd rather spend their time vainly trying to convince themselves that it's true. "I'll be damned if I'll accept this, but I'm willing to try to convince myself of it."

Granted, to change your mind seems much harder than to just change your behavior. Yet without changing your mind, behavioral changes bear little fruit. That's why people so frequently make a resolution to do something differently, but find it hard to achieve the lasting change that the new behavior is meant to represent.

The courage to change our beliefs

Why are we sometimes reluctant to consider things deeply? For one thing, if we really look at something sincerely, we may end up having to really change our mind -- and that requires courage. We are attached to our ways of viewing things for various reasons. If nothing else, it can be embarrassing to admit we were mistaken. But sometimes, we actually feel it's to our advantage not to accept a new belief.

Example: The insecure wife who always insists, "Tell me you love me again" -- frequently needing that assurance, and feeling she'll die of neglect unless she keeps on dramatizing insecurity.

Deeper assessment is required for more deeper change. While it takes courage to look at something more deeply and sincerely, deep reflection allows for deeper changes in belief than we can possibly make otherwise. So it pays to look deeply at a problem or an argument and sincerely try to assess its validity.

A deeper look at our own goodness

We're not just being humble when we hesitate to see ourselves as good. The entire argument against accepting our own goodness usually boils down to something much less virtuous: the belief that living the life of a good person would make things worse for us. For example:

"Being loving will make a martyr out of me."

"Caring makes me vulnerable."

"If people think I'm good, they'll take advantage of me."

As long as we think like that, we are strongly de-motivated to accept bright thought in ourselves -- like the kid who doesn't want to get an A on a test, because then he'll be expected to get another one, so he always tries to underachieve.

Such beliefs are rarely objective, because almost invariably, goodness tends to turn out well all around. But even then, fearful people may feel relieved, but not convinced. "This is great. I can't believe it's happening." Wait a minute! -- it just happened, and they still refuse to accept it!

You can see how part of the lower mind -- the ego part -- always doubts that good things have good results -- despite evidence to the contrary. And likewise, though we have so few positive results for negative strategies such as withdrawal, avoidance, and self-protectiveness, the ego clings to those strategies regardless.

The higher mind, on the other hand, has no trouble seeing the evidence clearly, and it will enthusiastically recommend accepting it. You accept the overwhelming evidence for goodness. Then living the good life will come a whole lot easier.

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