Self-Acceptance. Chapter II

We all have specific talents, but with some people these attributes are more obvious. Furthermore, society at different times places more values on some talents than others. If you are a good football player, or a good musician or speaker, then this is easily recogniz-able by other people and society in general. But, if you are able to work with children and inspire them, or to create a beautiful garden, or repair a car, or if you are a good parent, or able to understand the problems of others with compassion, then these qualities are still talents. They are less obvious talents at first glance, but nevertheless they are as substantial as any other. Therefore, try to realize that it is not only those who gain fame who have talent. You also have talent, perhaps less tangible, such as understanding and kindness, or the ability to be a good homemaker, but these are not so rapidly accepted as talents.

Try to do the work that suits your nature. Don’t worry about what other people do, for they must also follow the dictates of their particular personalities. In recent times much status and respect is given to people who perform certain roles in life – actors, executives, academics, etc. For this reason, many people try to succeed in one of these desirable, high status spheres, even when the personality is unsuitable. This leads to unhappiness. Accept yourself and do that which comes naturally according to your personality. Do those things which come spontaneously, without excessive effort and which suit your temperament. In yoga, this is called dharma, and is regarded as an essential part of everyone’s path to happiness and higher awareness. In the Bhagavad Gita, the subject of dharma, one’s natural duty, is discussed over and over again. Ignore status, for this is a social concept with little basis. A person’s occupation does not matter, it is one’s attitude that is important. A road sweeper who does his work with interest and awareness is further along the yogic path than a scientist who does his work half-heartedly and without awareness. Don’t worry too much about what other people think. Remember, they are judging you from a viewpoint limited by their own prejudices and mental problems. Try to perform your dharma, work, actions, play or any other activity in accordance with your personality.

Learn to accept your feelings and emotions without guilt. If, for example, you have a tendency to become angry at the slightest provocation, accept that this is part of your personality. Don’t feel guilty. But next time you are angry try to be aware and witness your anger. Don’t suppress anger, for this will only accumulate in your subconscious mind and eventually manifest as mental or physical illness. Don’t be afraid to express your emo-tions, but at the same time maintain awareness of them. This applies to all emotions, not only anger. Of course, it is not always socially convenient to express these emotions (perhaps against one’s employer), but as one progressively cleans out the mind through yoga, the emotions become more positive and cause less friction with others. There will be no need to suppress emotions under any circumstances for they will cease to exist in a negative sense.

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