Bella, You Are Perfect

“Of all the judgments we pass in life, none is more important than the judgment we pass on ourselves.”-Nathaniel Branden, Ph.D.

Your Self-Concept, how you see and feel about yourself, impacts everything in your life. It’s is like a thermostat that regulates the level of your happiness, your income, your health and your overall ability to thrive in life.

When it comes to personal development, most people begin by identifying what they want to change. What if we started from the premise that, at our core,we are perfect and there is nothing to change or improve?

What if we accepted that at our core, we are already perfect?

One aspect of your self-concept is your Ideal Self, which represents the very best of who you aspire to be. There is your Ideal Self and then there is your current behavior and the results you create in life—and there’s always a gap between the two. The question is, how do you feel about that gap in your life?

Whatever the gap is between where we are now and where we would love to be (in any area of life) that gap discourages most people and it prompts self-criticism and self-rejection on some level. Their self-talk is peppered with criticism for not doing better: “I should lose weight.” “I shouldn’t have been impatient, what’s wrong with me?” That’s what the late Albert Ellis, Ph.D. called “shoulding”  all over yourself.

Most of us have learned to fill our self-talk (Our ongoing thoughts and internal dialogue) with reminders of how we’re not “perfect.” Of course, everyone says they know they’re not perfect. But then they criticize themselves when they make a mistake or fail to reach a goal.

All this has been on my mind the past few days, with the arrival of my first grandchild, Isabella Rae Lerma. “Bella’s” arrival has me thinking of the struggle many (most) have when it comes to their self-worth, self-esteem and overall self-concept. Isabella’s arrival has reminded me of what I believe about each and every one of us, whether we’re five years old or fifty years old”

Our core self, our essence, who we really are, is perfect.

When we arrive into this world, this dimension of “Life,” our inner self is perfect. Isn’t that what we all think of every newborn when they make their grand entrance? Don’t we welcome each new child with an understanding of how innocent and perfect they are. We don’t greet them with judgment or criticism of any kind. Instead, we have nothing but hopes and dreams for each child.

However, somewhere along the way, we begin to unintentionally undermine the self-worth, self-esteem and self-confidence of our children., Instead of giving them the message, “You need to change your behavior,” they are given the message, “You need to change who you are; you need to change YOU.”

Instead of being given the message, “I don’t like your behavior right now,” they are given the message over and over again throughout life, “I don’t like YOU. You’re not lovable the way you are, but if you change to suit me, you might be lovable.”

What does that have to do with you?

Today you can realize that your inner essence is pure love and…perfection. There is nothing that needs to be changed. There is nothing to criticize or judge.

You are perfect.

You Are Bella.

The “You” I’m talking about is your core self, not your behaviors or your beliefs. There’s always room for growth and positive change when it comes to how we think and what we do.

You (and I) no doubt have some behaviors that are less than ideal. Not everyone thinks we’re quite “there” yet, wherever that might be in their mind. We aren’t always thoughtful, patient and kind with others. At times we disappoint those around us and sometimes we hurt them deeply.

We might want to remind ourselves often that we are not our behaviors or our beliefs. All behaviors or beliefs are simply things we’ve learned growing up. Who you are, your true self, your higher self (whatever you want to call it) is above and beyond your beliefs or behaviors and your core self is perfect.

Your core self is “Bella” because who you are, in your essence, is perfect.

Here is a quote for you to think about this week, one I share in my book, Seven Secrets to Enlightened Happiness: Your Guide to the Life You Were Meant to Live:

“The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.”

                                                                                               -Carl Jung

Today, and every day, may we celebrate the “Bella” in each one of us. 

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