Thursday, February 14, 2013

Unconditional Acceptance



When I was in college, I studied about client-centered therapy and its biggest representative Carl Rogers. He wrote about "unconditional positive regard" or as we called it: "unconditional acceptance." 


I am reading Susan Cain's book "Quiet" again. But I completely missed the part she said "Jealousy is an ugly emotion, but it tells the truth. You only envy those who have what you desire." This hit me like a paddle. I have always been taught that envying others, if not a sin, was a horrible feeling. But the truth is, I have felt envy or jealousy one time or another in my life.


This is where Carl Rogers came in. Although I heard many criticisms in regard to "unconditional acceptance", it is only when I accept myself unconditionally, in a safe way, that I can recognize my shortcomings. And change. I never thought that feelings of envy and jealousy could, in actuality, be an insight of the things we dream or wish for ourselves. 

We all strive to show our best selves, but we know we are made of much more than the masks we wear.

Carl Rogers: "The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination."

44 comments:

Jacquelineand.... said...

I'm going to have to look up Carl Rogers. Interesting perspective in this post, and cause for thought.

Hmmm, to me envy...like fear or anger...is a guidepost and a tool. A guidepost in that it's advising one to pay attention and a tool in that when one is paying attention it prods you to work on areas more easily ignored.

Is it any wonder I look forward to your posts?

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Everyone has a pang of envy or jealousy some time or another, it's true.

BIKBIK AND RORO said...

I think we all deal with envy at one point or another. I realise it's less for me now, or easier to overcome, now that I'm older. There is that greater self-acceptance, plus a more mature sort of awareness and thankfulness for all my many blessings. Beautiful art as always :)

Fran Traina said...

I love your birds and book. Lovely quote, thought provoking post:)

Nadia said...

Very well said! I love the little book you made!! Nice bright colours.

Carmela said...

Loved this! Analytical psychology at its finest ;)

Ola said...

Jealousy is an ugly emotion, but it tells the truth. You only envy those who have what you desire - I agree!!!

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Sulky Kitten said...

It can be difficult for people to even acknowledge their less "pretty" feelings, but you have to take the good with the bad to form a proper whole.

Lorraine said...

I think unconditional acceptance is the only way to live and as I look at your lovely art, I am envious of your gift of creating beauty lol truly I can't seem to settle, I can't seem to accept the house i had to leave to move into a very heated apt, since there are big windows with tns of sun and I burn everyday and to forget it all I watch DVDs instead of creating art because I'm too afraid of feeling, since they reduced my medication...I love your art, so I'll seek solace here and with other artists until I can do so myself

Cristiane Marino said...

Oi Ana,
Que bela reflexão você fez ligando a inveja ao desejo.
Adorei a citação de Rogers, gosto de sua linha de trabalho embora não seja a minha especialidade.
Seus pássaros ficaram lindos!
ótimo final de semana
Bjs

Kyra Wilson said...

I've figured that jealousy and envy are ways to set goals for ourselves. I don't like that I have those feelings, but at the same time if I want that for myself I have to consider why I don't have it and how I would go about changing things for myself (unless we're talking someone else's boyfriend or something, and then we're into psycho territory, and that's not what I mean! LOL) But if I want a bigger house or a thinner body, well, there are ways to create that for myself if that's a real desire of mine. For the things out of my reach (like running a marathon in a decent time instead of the 6 hours it took me?) There has to be a level of letting go too.

AntiquityTravelers said...

What a thoughtful post. I'm going to have to do some self observation

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

Lovely post, Ana. I think we've all felt that way at one time or another. I am reading the book 'Quiet' and really enjoying it. I don't know why it took me so long to get to it. It's so insightful.

Sara said...

"We all strive to show our best selves, but we know we are made of much more than the masks we wear." I am in love with this sentence. I agree with you; I have no problem admitting I am not a good person, but that does not mean I don't try my best to be it.

And I am learning to live with myself (:

Ps - Have you ever drawn swallows? I simply love them and I can't wait for the summer so they can came back.

Stay well *(:

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I have to say, I love the introspection that you always show in your posts :)

Red Shoes said...

"This hit me like a paddle."

Oh my... c'mere... ;oD

Seriously, now... I think we do have to reach that place with ourselves, where we are ok with who and what we are. I think once we arrive at that point, we are better able to understand and accept where we are in our lives, and more importantly, who we are.

Namaste...

~shoes~

Memory box at 27 said...

Very interesting thought. I always was told the jealousy is an ugly feeling. But this makes a lot of sense!

Robin Larkspur said...

Ana, just the other day I exchanged thoughts with a friend about the masks we wear. Which mask does one wear with each person or situation. Envy or jealousy is one part of the self that can either guide, control or demoralize depending on how much power you accord them, and the same with all the other "deadly sins" and both negative and positive emotions. To love/like oneself unconditionally is a long and winding road at times. But as the quote you used by Carl Rogers, the process is the key, not the destination/end result. As always, Ana you give us much to mull over. And your bird book is delightful!!

Lois said...

So hard to put my thoughts into words today! I have often envied friends over the years. We all show others what we want them to see, and I know that what I envy is not the whole story, not reality. Maybe envy helps us or forces us to strive for something? Lois

Arkansas Patti said...

I guess I don't envy people's possessions or position in life. I kind of like where and who I am. What I have been known to envy is natural talent. I especially envy those with even passable singing voices for I am astoundingly pathetic. Most things about ourselves can be changed with hard work and self awareness. Not much you can do with no talent.
You should feel blessed.

Fundy Blue said...

Hi Ana!
A thought-provoking post! I have felt these emotions on occasions in my life ~ I think they're perfectly human.

I got a chuckle out of your line: "We all strive to show our best selves, but we know we are made of much more than the masks we wear." This is so true!

And loving yourself unconditionally is very hard, but so worth the effort!
Have a good day.

Tammie Lee said...

it is wonderful to consider that strong feelings, like jealousy and envy tell the truth. Sometimes we need strong feelings just to see clearly.... but we sometimes must look deeply and at ourselves not others to find this truth. thank you so much for sharing this.

Riot Kitty said...

My acupuncturist told me, "Be kind to yourself." Which sounds like exactly what you're saying here. You have such profound thoughts on this page!

Helmi said...

Beautiful!

Sherri B. said...

Beautiful words, beautiful paintings...I will have to investigate Carl Rogers further! I occasionally feel pangs of jealousy...I'm wise enough now (in my old age!) to acknowledge them and take them for what they are: a yearning inside myself to overcome my own fears and attain what that person has.

Lovely thoughts as always, Ana - thank you for sharing them and your beautiful bird book!

Buttons said...

WOW interesting I have never thought of it that way. I am rarely jealous as I have everything I desire as far as I am concerned but I do know of some persons where this makes perfect sense:) Take care Ana Love the art. Beautiful. B

Francie M said...

It was such a surprise when i learned that jealousy could be confronted and accepted as one of my personality traits. Ha ha. Once I accepted it, it didn't have the destructive power it once had. Love these photos of your work, Ana.

Em said...

I truly believe this. I don't think we really want what the other person has so much as we want what could be ours. The version of whatever we're jealous of that would fit us.

As always, love your paintings!

gigihawaii said...

These days, I am rarely jealous or envious, because I have everything I could possibly want. This includes an adventurous life, a devoted husband, and great kids and grandkids. I just hope death doesn't come too soon for me. And I wish I were in perfect health. As usual, your art is outstanding. Blessings to you, Ana.

Lynn Fisher said...

Truer words Ana. Jealousy is such a driving force in our lives, for good or for evil , that it shouldn't be ignored. I've left a job because I knew for some odd reason that my boss harbored an odd, misplaced and completely false jealousy, only because of her perception of me. It was just weird. I got out of there and have never been happier.
I have felt jealousy but refuse to let it take me down. And have come to realize that what I'm feeling, is only my perception and usually not based on fact.

Lynn Fisher said...

The little book is so beautiful Ana. I'd written a long winded comment here and somehow I lost it, LOL..my opinion is just not needed today : )
XXO
Lynn

Lynn Fisher said...

Truer words Ana. Jealousy is such a driving force in our lives, for good or for evil , that it shouldn't be ignored. I've left a job because I knew for some odd reason that my boss harbored an odd, misplaced and completely false jealousy, only because of her perception of me. It was just weird. I got out of there and have never been happier.
I have felt jealousy but refuse to let it take me down. And have come to realize that what I'm feeling, is only my perception and usually not based on fact.

Magic Love Crow said...

Your bird book is beautiful! I think these are all feelings we go through at some time! I think I am getting to a point in my life, where I can honestly say, I am happy ;o) I might not have the fullest head of hair, but I am me and I love me ;o)

Pumpkin Delight (Kimberly) said...

Your birds are beautiful and your thoughts are profound. Unconditional acceptance is important if we want to grow and change while also understanding our strengths. Very beautiful post.

Ariel said...

We are all human and face these emotions once in a while.
Is that your sketchbook? What kind of book do you use ?

AVY said...

That's probably true, I'm never happy with where I land, just with how I got there.




/ Avy
http://MyMotherFuckedMickJagger.blogspot.com



Ileana said...

I like Carl Rogers' quote and Susan Cain's as well. I'm a big fan of learning what makes me tick, where I fall short and taking steps to grow. You seem to be the same and there's no jealousy in that, amiga. :)

Julia Hones said...

Hi, I really enjoy your artwork and the messages of your post. I agree.I think it is so important to be able to accept ourselves. I do let go of jealousy and envy because they serve no purpose in my life. (I believe many people have trouble acknowledging these dark emotions and then they behave in angry ways for reasons that are not clear). Thanks for sharing your insights.

Rick Watson said...

Beautiful paintings. I love hummingbirds.

NatashaMay said...

I like the quotes you chose. They sound like good mentors. :)

alteredstatesstudio said...

i love your book- and your pics were wonderful...loved the perspective. i like to think it is the direction instead of the destination....sometimes i like to challenge myself when i am going somewhere that i am not totally sure about by using a sense of direction instead of just looking at the map. as long as i am going in the right general direction- i will get to where i am going. weird?! but, i like this.

Bohemian mom said...

great post - and truth here - well said. I love the pics - the artwork..
peace

Jeanie said...

We are human. We'll do things we wish we hadn't, say things we wish we could put back in our mouths, think things that we shouldn't. The key is the awareness, the ability to say, 'that wasn't my best self, was it? and then do whatever must be done -- apologize, explain. Then comes the hard part. Remembering

This is a lovely post Ana, and beautifully illustrated.

lemons and puppets said...

Enjoy!! :)