There are certain factors in life, that when they occur, hinder us from being able to act as we would typically like to. Not necessarily to say we can’t, but it is definitely more difficult. Becoming more aware of ourselves and realizing what factors affect our ability to regulate our emotions is key to understanding why we behave the way we do. It is important to meet these limitations with self-acceptance and without judgment. If we judge ourselves or our behavior negatively, we will only make ourselves feel worse. Shame is an unproductive emotion because it does not motivate us to learn and do better, it only paralyzes us to stay stuck in negative, regretful emotions about ourselves. But if we meet these limitations with self-acceptance, we can give ourselves the grace and understanding that helps us to love ourselves unconditionally. After all, while we are on this earth plane, we are only human beings, so we must recognize and honor our humanness.
After some time of observing myself, without judgement, I have become aware of certain factors that affect my ability to regulate my emotions and behavior. These are just a few that have the power to affect how I feel and act. Probably the thing that affects me the most is sleep, and lack there of. If I do not get enough sleep, when I wake up I am immediately starting off the day at a disadvantage. It is a major struggle to try and get to a place where I can go about my day, without reacting to people or situations from a negative space. Some days I am able to pull myself out of it and some days I’m not. On the days that I am not able to pull myself out of the negativity, I accept that it is unrealistic to expect to overcome it every time and that it is perfectly okay to have an off day. Another factor that can affect me is if I am sick or not. For example, I was recently sick where I had a fever of 103 degrees for over a week. I felt physically and mentally horrible, and I was not able to regulate my behavior towards others. I try my best to speak to others from a place of love and kindness, but on this occasion, I realized that I was responding to people with aggression, when they had done nothing to deserve it. Initially, I felt bad after reacting this way, but then I looked towards the reason as to why I acted the way I did. I was not acting this way for no reason, my sickness was causing my tolerance level to be lower than usual. I was not necessarily angry with what the other people were saying, but I was angry about dealing with my fever and sickness, and this passed over onto my interactions with others. Because I was able to find this causation, I allowed myself to feel acceptance for my behavior instead of shame. My behavior did not make me a mean person, or affect who I am at my core. I am a person who is loving and kind, and sometimes I am affected by factors that cause me to act to not the best of my abilities. I remind myself of the saying, “I am perfectly imperfect”, and this helps with filling myself with love instead of judgment and shame.
If we are able to look at ourselves with inquisitiveness, instead of judging something as negative, we can more readily accept ourselves and our actions. Self-acceptance is loving and respecting ourselves, which is imperative to feeling good and at peace. And a key to gaining self-acceptance, is by becoming more aware of factors in life that affect our ability to regulate our emotions and behavior.