We don’t forgive ourselves for making mistakes or being ourselves. We call ourselves stupid. We hate ourselves because our lives do not line up neatly with our parents’ views or with the religions in which we were raised. I do not claim to know much, but I do know that happiness is contingent upon self-acceptance, -forgiveness, and –love. As human beings, we will never be happy in this life if we cannot love, forgive, and accept ourselves.
In my life and sex coaching practice, I find that one of the greatest issues facing my clients is forgiving themselves and others. As a coach and fellow human, I don’t judge humans. I admit I am not always successful. When I hear about molestation and rape, I almost always think about the dangers my daughters must traverse while they grow up. I get angry and scared. However, I also understand that I have done much for which I can be judged and have been judged. The main reason I empathize with other humans who are attempting to forgive and accept themselves is because I have accepted and forgiven myself.
Self-acceptance: Your body
The hyperlink above brings you to an article that provides you with an exercise on self-acceptance: get naked in front of the mirror.
As some of you may already know, many of my clients have stopped or avoided sex because they do not like their own bodies. Often my clients and I discuss the fact that we only get one body a lifetime. Technology has not changed that fact yet. Even if we could replace our bodies with another, No body is perfect, figuratively and literally. Standing in a mirror with all of our goodies hanging and shaking while giving ourselves love is much more powerful than someone else telling us that we have a nice body.
Society often dictates what popular beauty is. However, what seems to be most attractive to us, regardless of body type, is self-acceptance and confidence; we love the people who love themselves.
In my own past, I worked my body to death and packed on 217lbs. of muscle. My girlfriend, a muscle junky, always found places where I was too “small” while some female friends of mine asked, “Damn. How big do you wanna get?” I guess I did not love myself enough to use my own standard of beauty. I was waiting for my lover to tell me how beautiful and perfect my body was. I wanted to be this magnet, a Billy Dee Williams, Colt 45, super bad woman magnet or a Keith Stone, hold-my-stones-smooth woman magnet. I was neither, and my body wasn’t the issue. The issue was how I felt about myself. The Colt 45 Billy Dee Williams and Keith Stone personas are not attractive because of their bodies; they are attractive because they emit confident and self-acceptance.
I find proof of the self-acceptance factor in my practice all of the time. Most of my clients see a big difference in their relationships as we work on a new story that includes self-acceptance. A client of mine had been molested as a child. Her mother, though not the molester, was an accomplice in the molestation. She sold her daughter for money on different occasions. As coach, my job was not rehashing the molestation story. Years of therapy had helped my client with accepting the past. My job was to help her acquire a future that centered on her personal vision. A big stepping stone for her was body acceptance:
“What action could you do in the next week that would show the world and you that you accept your own body at this moment?” I asked.
“Well, I bought a two-piece bathing suit. I have never worn it. I have never worn one… ever,” my client responded.
“Is that a challenge you would like to take on?”
“That would take a lot. But I would love that.”
My client achieved her goal. However, there seemed to be an unexpected benefit. After my client strutted her stuff by the poolside, she felt a little frisky; then she strutted her stuff for her boyfriend, which is something she never did. Contrarily, in the new life she created, strutting proudly was something she enjoyed doing and her boyfriend loved.
Self-acceptance: Your Emotions and Thoughts
The above hyperlink brings you to a good article that dispels the notion that accepting self means “liking” everything about ourselves. Self-acceptance means understanding that as humans we will always have an aspect of our lives that we can improve while still loving ourselves and forgiving ourselves. A key to self-forgiveness, sexually and otherwise, is accepting and being responsible for our thoughts, emotions, and desires.
When I added the title “sex coach” on my business card and publicized that my practice is open to all adult humans who have consenting partners, I heard my mother’s conservative voice. I thought about my high school and college reunions and who might give me a sideways glance because of my humanistic and, I guess, liberal perspective. I actually felt that I might be going against some of my loved ones ways of life.
On the other hand, who gives a French Toast! I take ownership of my perspective of the world. My perspective is my own, so no one has to agree with it or even listen to it, but I had to make a choice between living the life of which I dream or living the life others dream for me. Many of the experiences that created me, Dr. T Sex Coach (sounds almost as cool as Magnum P.I.), have disappointed and hurt those I love. I am sorry and take responsibility for any pain that I have caused, but in a show of self-love, I eventually had to give myself a break and forgive myself. If you cannot forgive yourself, you will never forgive the others in your life. If you cannot accept your own humanity, how will you know how to recognize and acknowledge the humanity in others?
Self-acceptance and –forgiveness are essential ingredient in creating a new life. At some point our thoughts and desires will diverge from those whom we respect and love. Sometimes we’ll do and say things that are wrong in own eyes, and we wish hadn’t. The bell can’t be unrung. Do not give yourself a lifetime sentence. Whether you hire someone like me to assist you on your path or you find another way, find a way to move forward. Find a way to love and accept you.
For a free coaching session email Dr. Nwachi Tafari (Dr. T.) at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 336.662.7777 to make an appointment. A touch can change the world.
Your servant Dr. Nwachi Tafari