Who Is Lucille Ball And What Does She Know About Happiness?
Lucille Ball was a beautiful American actress, comedian, model and the first woman to run a major television studio, producing popular television series such as Mission Impossible and Star Trek. She received four Emmys, A Golden Globe and A Lifetime Achievement Award (she was also a pretty pretty redhead). That she advocated the importance of self-acceptance, despite her movie star good looks and giant successes, speaks volumes about looking internally for happiness, not externally. No matter how beautiful or well-known you may be, if you don’t learn to cherish yourself, you’ll miss out on really living.
Why Should You Take The Preachers With A Pinch Of Salt?
Of course, there are also some folk who preach a little too much about the importance of finding happiness within before you can find happiness with others. I recall a good friend who had been single for years returning from a ‘girly’ trip away with friends who were all in longterm relationships and could talk of little else. Naturally, this amplified said friend’s feelings of loneliness after years of singledom, yet when she expressed this to her nearest and dearest, she was met with well-meaning but rather unfeeling advice about finding happiness within, before finding happiness in love. And while there is certainly some truth in this, sometimes life throws people punches that can be hard to recover from without a bit of external affirmation. As with all things, it’s a question of balance.
What Are The Benefits Of Self-Acceptance?
While it’s easier said than done, embracing who you are really is the first step towards inner confidence, peace and happiness. Whether this is accepting where your heart takes you in matters of love, choosing lifestyles that others would not choose themselves or being yourself and risking the disapproval of others in the short-term, it’s crucial to respect who you really are.
It may be hard to accept truths about yourself which you know others may find hard to swallow, but anyone who truly cares about you will only want to see your longterm happiness and will realise this when they see you happy.
A client once told me that the biggest mistake he’d made in life was ignoring his instinct about a woman that he loved in order to please his family. He said he’d since learnt that standing firm to who you are is always the best course of action, because if you’re acting in accordance with your true values, you’ll find true happiness and the naysayers will soon come around.
Why Is It Unhealthy To Resist Self-Acceptance?
Resisting who you are, whether worrying about what others think of you or looking outwards for acceptance, will only slow down your journey to happiness. A good friend repressed their sexuality for years for fear of what his military parents would think, only to discover that after short-term discomfort, his parents felt great relief in his happiness. Repressing who he really was had caused him years of inner turmoil and outward aggression which people couldn’t understand. And in the process of self-acceptance, he taught older generations blinded by ignorance a thing or two about love.
How Do You Know When You’ve Achieved Self-Acceptance?
Accepting who you are is an ongoing process - whether this means realising that your passion in life is unlikely to bring you the wealth that society reveres or accepting that your one true love isn’t who you’d imagined as a little girl.
The bottom line is, if you’re trusting your instinct, you’re accepting that intangible part of yourself which you cannot see or necessarily rationalise, that inner core which may be far from society’s ideals of perfection but the heart of you which makes you beautifully unique. Trusting your gut and knowing that ‘a feeling’ is adequate motivation for your decisions in life shows that you are some way down the path to self-acceptance, whether it’s resisting manipulation in a partner or standing up to a friend who has upset you.
The feeling of peace and contentment that will arise from whole-heartedly cherishing who you truly are will tell you that you’ve met yourself with open arms. From there, infinite possibilities will come your way, professionally, personally and spiritually – outer beauty will be attracted to the value that you place on yourself like a magnet drawn to your core.
Conversely, a sick feeling in your gut signals fighting against who you really are, whether this is in a relationship or in a job. If it doesn’t feel right, accept your feelings and respect them. They’re just whisperings from your wiser self.
How Can You Learn To Be More Self-Accepting Day To Day?
If this is hard to apply in real terms, take a look at this wonderful Ted Talk by Niko Everett, which gives great tips on building self-love. It’s amazing how effective her advice is. It can be as simple as repeating daily affirmations and it really does work
Why You Should ‘Come-Out’ Today?
So if you’re having a tough time ‘coming out’ in any sense, don’t dumb down who you really are. Take the above steps and learn, bit by bit, to embrace yourself in all your glory. It may not be easy and it may take some time but once you do, you’ll feel a peace you didn’t know existed.