My self-acceptance journey – Illustrated with quotes and images.

Photoshoot With Loryne Atoui
Photoshoot with Loryne Atoui

This would not have been possible without the talented Loryne Atoui, behind the camera. Loryne who has been instrumental in encouraging me to share my deepest struggles. On her blog, I shared the story of my accident and how that almost made me lose the will to live. She is back once again to help me tell another story, one about self-acceptance.

We hide bits and pieces of ourselves from ourselves and others because of fear of judgment and shame. Photo by Loryne Atoui.
We hide bits and pieces of ourselves from ourselves and others because of fear of judgment and shame. Photo by Loryne Atoui.

On the journey to become a better person, I judged myself harshly and locked away these aspects of my character and personality I labeled as evil or bad.

By doing so, I lost bits and pieces of myself. I forgot who I was and started hiding my real self from myself and others.

It is only when I was able to completely accept myself that I realized that what I judged so harshly and locked away, is actually a blessing and a strength. Even the darkest parts of our self are there for a reason.

Self-acceptance is the conscious act of releasing self-judgment so that you can experience your wholeness.

Integrate your shadows, accept yourself and know your wholeness. Photo by Loryne Atoui.
Integrate your shadows, accept yourself and know your wholeness. Photo by Loryne Atoui.

By reintegrating our shadows, we reclaim our ‘lost’ selves and begin to truly know our Wholeness.

A moment of serenity. Photo by Loryne Atoui.
A moment of serenity. Photo by Loryne Atoui.

You are not stuck.

You are committed to certain patterns of behaviors because they helped you in the past.

Now, those behaviors have become more harmful than helpful.

The reason why you can’t move forward is because you are applying an old formula to a new level in your life.

Change the formula to get a different result.

You real self is naked and proud, no matter the scars. Photo by Loryne Atoui.
You real self is naked and proud, no matter the scars. Photo by Loryne Atoui.

I no longer look for the good in people, I search for the REAL.
Because while good could be dressed in fake clothing, real is naked and proud, no matter the scars.

The whole world is inside you. Photo By Loryne Atoui.
The whole world is inside you. Photo By Loryne Atoui.

You are beginning to understand, aren’t you?

That the whole world is inside you: in your perspectives and in your heart.
That to be able to find peace, you must be at peace with yourself first.
To truly enjoy life, you must enjoy who you are.

And once you learn to master this, you will be protected from everything that makes you feel like you can not go on, that with this gift of recognizing yourself, even when you are alone, you will never be lonely.

In order to love who you are, you can't hate the experiences that shaped you. Photo by Loryne Atoui.
In order to love who you are, you can’t hate the experiences that shaped you. Photo by Loryne Atoui.

In order to love who you are, you can’t hate the experiences that shaped you.

Deal and accept who you are to lighten the weight of the baggage you are carrying. Photo by Loryne Atoui.
Deal and accept who you are to lighten the weight of the baggage you are carrying. Photo by Loryne Atoui.

We all have a bag.
We all pack differently.
Some of us are traveling light.
Some of us are secret hoarders who’ve never parted with one memory in our lives.
I think we are all called to figure out how to carry our bag to the best of our ability, how to unpack it, and how to face the mess.
I think part of growing up is learning how to sit down the floor with all your things and figuring out what to take with you and what to leave behind.

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